Drivers of change of relevance for Europe's environment and sustainability

The EEA report ‘Drivers of change of relevance for Europe's environment and sustainability’ provides an in-depth characterisation of developments that range from demographic shifts to leaps in technological innovation and from global competition for natural resources to changes in geopolitical landscape and people’s lifestyles. It also shines light on their potential implications for major policy processes such as the European Green Deal (EGD) in the EU and the UN Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals. The report argues that varying global and European trends point not only to continuing sustainability challenges and new risks, but also towards opportunities for positive change. For example, new technology might save resources and alleviate environmental pressures but it can also lead to increasing demand for energy and natural resources. As such, achieving sustainability goals requires a transformation of Europe’s core systems of production and consumption through policies like the EGD as well as wider changes in norms and priorities across all levels of society.