Environmental Futures
                Forum de Prospective
   International Forum
                Forum International
                Proceedings / Actes
• 004
i c.2
April 4-5,  1997
 Washington, DC
 EPA 160-R-004
                          United States


                            WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460

                                  August 1997
                                                                 OFFICE OF
                                                              THE ADMINISTRATOR
Dear Colleagues:

      I am pleased to present to you the proceedings of the G-7 Futures Forum. The
conference was a great success, the result of hard work from everyone, a true spirit of
cooperation and our common desire to think creatively about the environmental
challenges ahead. Thank you.

      Our most important accomplishment was developing a way of thinking that
allowed us to look "beyond the horizon" and thereby imagine the environmental and
public health issues of the future. In doing so, we began a process by which we can early
on identify preventive strategies so necessary to the long-term health of the world.

      Environmental futures work also is an effective way to focus on issues that all too
often get neglected in the face of our already full agendas.  I am very pleased with the
strong commitment to continue this process.
                                    Fred Hansen
                                    Deputy Administrator
                                                                     Printed on Recycled Paper


Foreword	'	1
Session 1—Opening Plenary Discussion: "Technol-
ogy, Society and the Environment in the Year 2020"
Introduction	2
Expert Panel 1	2
Discussion' of Panel 1	  3
Expert Panel 2	  4
Discussion of Panel 2	  5
Session 2—Discussion Groups: "Environmental
Issues in the Year 2020"  .
Group A—Land Use and Natural Resources	7
Group B—Ecological and Health Effects	8
Group C—Energy/Transportation/Climate
Change	  9
Group D—New Technologies	9
Session 3 - Closing Plenary: "Insights for 2020"
Comments on the Issues	11
Comments on the Environmental Futures Forum... 12
Chair's Summary	12
A. Forum Agenda	14
Avant Propos	16
lere SEANCE—Discussion pl&iiere d'ouverture:
"Technologic, sociel£ et environnement
de 1'an 2020"
Introduction	18
Groupe d'experts 1	 18
Discussion du groupe 1	 20
Groupe d'experts 2	 20
Discussion du groupe 2	 22
2eme STANCE—Groupes de discussions:
"Questions environnementales en 1'an 2020"
Groupe A—Occupation du sol et
ressources naturelles	
Groupe B—Repercussions sur 1'ecologie
et la sante	 24
Groupe C—Energie, transports et changements
des conditions climatiques	25
Groupe D : Nouvelles technologies	 26
3eme STANCE - Discussion pleniere de cloture:
« Perspectives 2020 »
Commentaires sur les sujets abordes	 27
Commentaires sur le Forum de prospective
environnementale	28
Resume des debats	 29
Programme du Forum	 31
APPENDICES (English only)
A. Participant List	 33
B. Detailed Reports of Session—2 Group Discussions	 36
C. Executive Summary—Country Reports	47


    In May, 19%, the environmental ministers of the
    G-7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Japan,
    Italy, United Kingdom, and United States) met in
Cabourg, France to discuss a range of issues in the
field of environment and sustainable development.
The ministers agreed that early identification of future
challenges and problems would lead to more effective
management of environment and health issues.
Recognizing the benefits of international cooperation
in this area, the ministers committed to coordinate G-7
efforts to anticipate and respond to environmental
change, and to work together to deepen the collective
understanding of environmental futures. The United
States offered to host a G-7 Environmental Futures
Forum in the spring of 1997 to further these objectives.
   In December, 1996, the government of France
hosted a meeting of an international steering commit-
tee to report on G-7 country activities in the field of
environmental futures and to develop specific plans
for the G-7 Environmental Futures Forum.  At this
meeting in Paris, and on subsequent conference calls,
the steering committee developed an agenda for the
Forum aimed at stimulating discussion among experts
about the kinds of environmental issues that may be of
concern to G-7 countries in the year 2020.
   The steering committee was also responsible for
preparatory work for the Forum. This preparatory
work included the drafting of environmental futures
reports by participants, which in addition to the G-7
nations included Russia and the European Commis-
sion. The Government of Canada compiled and
summarized these country reports; the executive
summary of this report appears as Appendix D to this
   The G-7 Environmental Futures Forum was held at
the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on
April 4-5,1997. Delegations from the G-7 countries,
Russia and the European Commission included senior
environmental policymakers, scientists, scientific
advisors to governments, and representatives from
industry and non-governmental organizations.
   The meeting opened with a plenary discussion on
the drivers of future environmental change. With the
assistance of an international panel of experts from
various fields. Forum participants discussed the
possible implications of trends in science, technology,
economic development, population, human settlement
patterns, and societal attitudes for the year 2020.
   Delegates then divided into four groups and
participated in facilitated discussions about possible
environmental issues in the year 2020, particularly
new issues that may arise from early indicators of
change. Each group was assigned an initial focus for
its discussion, as follows:
A. Land Use and Natural Resources
B. Ecological and Health Effects
C. Energy, Transportation, and Climate Change
D. New Technologies
   In a final plenary session, each discussion group
made a brief presentation on the most interesting and
significant insights that emerged during its discussion,
followed by questions and answers. Participants then
considered the implications of these insights for
current environmental policy making.
   The meeting closed with a strong, positive evalu-
ation of the benefits of international cooperation in the
field of environmental futures.  It was agreed that
further collaborative work on environmental futures
should take place between and among countries with
common interests in emerging issues. Participants
discussed holding  another international meeting on
environmental futures during calendar year 1997. The
steering committee was charged with considering the
structure and agenda for such a meeting.
   These proceedings of the G-7 Environmental
Futures Forum are intended to serve the following
• summarize the discussion of principal topic areas
covered in each session;
• record some of the provocative ideas offered during
the discussions; and
• convey a sense of the excitement about environmen-
tal futures that characterized the meeting.
   It is hoped that this report will both stimulate and
inform further international collaboration in the field
of environmental futures.

A.  Session 1
Opening Plenary Discussion:  "Technology,
Society and the Environment in the Year 2020

Fred Hansen, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environ-
mental Protection Agency, opened and chaired the
meeting. He welcomed the participants to the United
States and to this first G-7 meeting on environmental
futures issues. He remarked that this event was
conceived last year at the G-7 Ministerial Meeting in
Cabourg, France. Participants introduced themselves
and Mr. Hansen reviewed the agenda for the two day
session. He suggested that the meeting would be
successful if the group accomplished the following:
• Enthusiasm and renewal about anticipating future
environmental challenges;
• Learn new information from our colleagues;
• Achieve better results through cooperation;

• Take steps and set in motion a process to allow this
type of thinking to be a permanent part of the interac-
tion among and between the participating nations.

Expert Panel 1

Mr. Hansen then introduced Mr. Peter Schwartz of
Global Business Network, who served as moderator
for the panel of experts, each discussing the topic:
"Technology, Society and the Environment in the Year

   In his remarks, Mr. Schwartz stated "we often get
the future wrong because we tend to base our thinking
about the future, not on the real world, but on our
perceptions or our mental maps" gained through our
individual experiences and training in life. He indi-
cated that the maps can interfere with successful
identification of future issues; and that most of  our
futures methodologies simply extrapolate from the
past. He gave the example of how difficult it would
have been to predict the world of the 20th century by
simply extrapolating from the world of the late 1800's.
He emphasized that our challenge is to try to imagine
the nature and magnitude of the changes we may face
in the future, given dramatic transformations in
technology, politics, and business. By developing and
studying potential future scenarios, we can try to
avoid "big" surprises.
   Mr. Schwartz described three broad classes of
future scenarios:
1) technology driven growth;
2) ecology driven change; and
3) politically driven fragmentation.
   In his view, possible surprises for the future might
include: cheap, clean, mobile energy; hypercars;
nanotechnology; antigravity; cheap human cloning;
biocontrol of offspring; and life extension. He chal-
lenged the Forum participants .to lift their sights,
remove mental maps, and imagine what the chal-
lenges might be in the next 20 years.

Shuzo Nishioka, National Institute for
Environmental Studies, Japan

Trends in Science
Mr. Nishioka suggested that society should not expect
science to do too much in this next period because the
"harvest" from science is marginally decreasing; it will
be a period of diminishing returns. Still, the returns
from science will be large, particularly if we are able
to restructure the science system.
   He posed the question, "What do we mean by
science?," suggesting that technological developments
are extensions of science. He offered that progress in
science will be driven by the quest for knowledge,
social need, and historical reasons with support from
new technologies. Mr. Nishioka suggested that the
pace of change in the natural world is often slow and
at odds with research schedules. For example, a single
flowering cycle for some tropical plants can extend
over two or three decades. Therefore, it is a difficult
and unpopular topic for humans to study. At the
same time, such phenomena can be critically impor-
tant to the development of a proper understanding of
tropical rain forest ecology.
                                                          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Esther Dyson, Edventure Holdings

Trends in Technology
Ms. Dyson opened by remarking that the flow of
information, which is enabled by information technol-
ogy, will change how we think about what we do. She
went on to say that the Internet is described as the
"information superhighway." She prefers to call it an
"information environment," a place through which
information flows. It does not recognize official
national boundaries, similar to the environment. Also,
it promotes global interaction, and reduces the role,
power, and authority of governments.
   She pointed out that what information technology
really does is bring the local environment with you
when you move to other locations. However, noting
the importance of human contact, Ms. Dyson pre-
dicted that the more technology advances, the more
people will pursue that contact. Ironically, advances in
information technology might therefore be accompa-
nied by increased air travel and other activities that
generate human contact, with the concomitant envi-
ronmental consequences.
   Ms. Dyson anticipated that information technology
will boost the retail sector. People will order goods
directly from manufacturers or middle people, in-
creasing efficiency in how goods are produced and
distributed. She remarked that "telemedicine" is likely
so that specialists can provide service from a long
distance. In general, she predicted that as a conse-
quence of information technology, people will better
understand what impact their own behavior has on
the goods they buy, as well as how companies re-
spond. She reminded the group that in each country,
there will be people who cannot participate in the
information environment and access this global
information resource. She suggested that the job of
each government is to enable its citizens to use that
information technology to connect to the rest of the

Christian Stoffaes, Electricite de

Trends in Economics
Mr. Stoffaes opened by remarking that the new      "
economic growth in developed countries is good
news. He stated that there is a slowdown of heavy
industrial development (e.g., steel, mining, and
chemicals), which are mature sectors. Service indus-
tries are growing, with an emphasis on high technol-
ogy and investment for the environment. He re-
marked that technology is cleaner now than in the
past, with important environmental benefits for
growing regions and countries such as East Asia and
China. He predicted that in the rest of the world,
there will be less growth, but more poverty; he
pointed out that two billion people in developing
countries currently do not have electricity.
   Mr. Stoffaes mentioned that with the growing
international economy and the increasing number of
market economies, there will be less of a role for the
state, and that even emerging economies will invest
abroad. He posed a question as to whether free trade
will have a positive or negative impact on the environ-
ment, anticipating that free trade will result in new
technologies that can be applied to the environment.
He expected that the new notion of integration of the
economy with ecosystems will grow in currency, but
suggested that currently we still have a perception of
conflict between the economy and the environment.
   Energy consumption, Mr. Stoffaes stated, will
increase by 50% worldwide in next 25 years, and by 3-
4 fold in China and other parts of Asia, increasing
attention on security and geopolitics. The means for
production of energy will be among the main choices
made by countries. He recommended that countries
should re-think the "paradox" regarding nuclear
energy, especially in developing countries.

Discussion of Panel 1

One participant stated that we often consume time
trying to determine the "why?" of environmental
problems. The individual suggested that countries
should take Agenda 21 into account, remarking that if
we cannot wait for science, we must act now. How do
we compensate for the lack of knowledge of environ-
mental issues? This participant suggested the impor-
tance of thinking of a total strategy, not just the science
aspects; the individual expressed pessimism that
science alone could define the precise areas for action.
Other information and solid decision-making pro-
cesses are needed. The representative suggested that
with information technology, it is easier to  gather
information, but still difficult to respond to a problem
and see emerging patterns.
   Another individual noted that while we know how
to anticipate economic change, we are less  capable of
anticipating the results of scientific and technological
development. This individual stressed that we cannot
imagine new problems and what will happen with
April, 1997

technology and sciences, suggesting the importance of
linking futures professionals and scientists. Have we  .
made any progress in the past 60 years? Do we know •
the consequences of the third industrial revolution?
Answers to these questions would be helpful.
   Another participant noted that the value of infor-
mation networks for analysis needs to be evaluated.
This participant observed that the more information
we have the more choices we have; and that people
can get lost in data. Suggesting that studies show that
people fear networks and the uncontrollable nature of
the environment, this participant asked Ms. Dyson
whether this fear would be a limitation to the develop-
ment of an "information Utopia".
   Ms. Dyson responded that there is a great deal of
fear about an expanding information environment,
some of it justified, and some not. She commented that
people need to be better educated to use the technol-
ogy. Also, she stated, in cyberspace new communities
are forming that are not based on geographic proxim-
ity. The Internet is for the most part not regulated by
the traditional authorities, and has been an environ-
ment where people develop rules for themselves.
There is little regulation to manage terrorism and
national security risks, posing challenges for the use of
the technology. While there are prominent trends we
can impact, there are other technological innovations
we presently know little about.
   Ms. Dyson suggested that people should use
technology, science and the market, and then integrate
them into sustainable development. Rather than
emphasizing pessimism, she suggested that
decisionmakers design specific actions to support the
desired future.

Expert Panel 2

Alene Gelbard,  Population
Reference Bureau

Trends in Population
Ms. Gelbard remarked that projections of demo-
graphic trends out to the year 2025 show significant
changes in population size and spatial distribution.
Also, changes in how people use resources are ex-
pected, which affect the impact of these population
trends on the environment She stated that global
population will increase, mostly in developing coun-
tries. Growth will be due largely to child bearing
patterns, meaning that fertility assumptions can result
in very different future scenarios. The difference can
be as much as a few billion people. Ms. Gelbard
pointed out that, of course, mortality rates and as-
sumptions will also have an impact on trends in
population. It is expected that AIDS will slow growth
in sub-saharan Africa, but will not reverse population
growth on the national level.
   Ms. Gelbard reported that currently the world
population is 5.8 billion, but by some estimates will be
8 billion by 2025. Population growth will increase for
all regions of the world, except in Europe. The largest
increase is projected for Africa, where the population
will reach 1.4 billion. China is projected to increase
from 1.2 to 1.5 billion, and India's from 1 billion to 1.5
billion during this period. She added that some
countries will be in population decline, including
Italy and Germany. By 2025, Japan's population is
projected to be about the same; after an initial in-
crease, then a decrease.
   Ms. Gelbard reported that important changes in
spatial distribution of population are expected.
Increases in urbanization are anticipated, along with
the continued migration to coastal areas; currently,
two thirds of the population is located near a coast.
According to one estimate, 3/4 of the population may
live in coastal areas by 2025.
   In summary, population will increase in this period
and will become older due to fertility decline. Ms.
Gelbard reminded the group that the growth taking
place is largest in developing countries, many of
which are least equipped to cope with large popula-

Peter Calthorpe, Calthorpe and

Trends in Human Settlement
Mr. Calthorpe opened his remarks with an illustration
of one striking disparity in contemporary human
settlement patterns: in the Philippines, the current
household averages eight people, while in the U.S., the
household average is below two.  He then observed
that several critical trends, including the movement of
modern technologies around the globe and the
balkanization of economic classes, are creating funda-
mental commonalties in metropolitan regions world-
wide. These trends, in combination with the yearn-
ings of the human heart such as peoples' desire to be
                                                             G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

part of their neighborhood, are shaping the city of the
   Mr. Calthorpe remarked that we are locked in the
modernist paradigm, and that forms of human settle-
ments are lagging behind. Currently, we segregate all
uses (recreation, shopping, and education). Integra-
tion in design is returning as we are moving back to
classical configurations of human settlement, regain-
ing efficiencies in design and standardization.  Mr.
Calthorpe suggested that settlement trends will
continue to see a return to a more human scale.
Historically, spaces have been shared, meaning that
many material needs are met in common spaces and in
communal ways. He anticipated that we will experi-
ence a return to these approaches.
   Over the next twenty-five years, Mr. Calthorpe
predicted an end to the automobile age due to the
problems of pollution and congestion. Even the
wealthiest communities cannot afford the implica-
tions, he offered.  He raised questions as to whether
electronic mobility will alleviate our current transpor-
tation needs. Noting that the environmental impacts
of sprawl are obvious, Mr. Calthorpe commented on
the more subtle social response to current settlement
patterns. He stated that the almost universal human
response to sprawl is the desire for community; people
seek to overcome their isolation, and retain their
connection to nature in an undegfaded form; they
need connection to history, to place, and to some type
of spiritual practice. Implicit in these patterns is the
social movement against the huge metropolis, the
isolation of uses and the destruction of nature.  Mr.
Calthorpe recommended that participants examine  the
nexus of all of these trends in their discussion.

Raimondo Boggia, Alchera
Strategic Vision

Trends in Societal Attitudes
Mr. Boggia began his remarks by observing that
twentieth century western futurists have focused on
"eco-pessimism". He stated that not many of these
forecasts have come true. Mr. Boggia suggested that
this illustrates a decline in western culture relative to
other cultures that are dreaming about better futures.
   Mr. Boggia next remarked on the societal response
to current trends in technology innovation and  global-
ization. He opined that the structural changes result-
ing from modern technological changes are analogous
to a combination of the changes the wheel offered in
moving goods across space, and the alphabet had with
respect to communication through time. The Internet
moves sounds, words, images and goods; it is bringing
time and space together. The speed of change is an
important matter, making the most pressing question
how to manage a globalized culture. All around the
world people are accepting some changes and refus-
ing others.  He suggested that when globalization
creates opportunity without invalidating local heritage
and history, it will be successful.
   Mr. Boggia went on to note that people derive
personal identity from their ethnic or religious com-
munity, and that social identity has traditionally
derived from nationality. He pointed out that increas-
ingly people define themselves in the context of an
awareness of the whole planet. He predicted a
cultural clash between populations termed as the
"well having" (i.e., affluent) and those more interested
in "well being" (i.e., focused on spiritual practice and
connection with the planet and other people).

Discussion of Panel 2

Several comments were made about linkages between
population and human settlement patterns. One
participant noted the importance of involving the
developing countries in undertaking environmental
futures analysis, as illustrated by Japan's EcoAsia
policy dialogue, stressing regional cooperation.
Another delegate opined that population growth will
cease after 2050.
   It was suggested that there has been a change in
global urbanization patterns; people are no longer
willing to live in megacities. There is also a trend
towards the weakening of middle classes in northern
countries. Participants questioned whether popula-
tion movement from rural to urban environments
have increased environmental awareness.
   The question was posed whether "globalization"
results in an uniform urban model emerging, or
whether it means diversification?  One panelist
answered that we are moving to diversity in urban
form and adherence to historic culture. Another
suggested that globalization of reproductive health is
   One participant suggested that demographic data
show that there will be a large youth population,
lessening the potential for stability, as these young
people fight for resources and opportunities. In
general, it should be expected that population pres-
April, 1997

sures will increase, resulting in local and regional
   At the close of this session, one participant recom-
mended that the Forum devote some time to the
development of specific strategies to break from
existing mind-sets. It was also suggested that partici-
pants consider a better way to identify "well-being"
than the standard economic indexes.
                                                                Q-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Session 2
Discussion Groups:  "Environmental  Issues  in
the Year 2020"

Following a lunch hosted by the National Academy of
Sciences, delegates divided into four groups to discuss
environmental issues that may be of concern in G-7
countries in the year 2020.  One particular focus for
these discussions was early indicators of emerging
new environmental issues.  Each group was assigned
a topic area for its discussion, as follows:
Group A: Land Use (Urban/Rural) and Natural
Group B: Health and Ecological Effects
Group C: Energy/Transportation/Climate Change
Group D: New Technologies
   The discussion groups used two sources to begin
their exploration of future environmental issues:
futures issues identified in country reports prepared
for the meeting and a summary of the Session #1
discussion of critical trends shaping the future.
   Rapporteurs for each of the discussion groups, as
indicated below, reported to the plenary in Session #3.
Summaries of these group  reports are provided below.
More detailed accounts of these discussions appear in
Appendix B of these proceedings.

Group A

Land Use  (Urban/Rural) and Natural

Mauricette Steinfelder (France) and
Kazuhiko Takemoto (Japan)

Group A discussed land use and natural resources.
These discussions took the form of 1) comments and
reactions to the information contained in country
reports on futures activities, 2) reactions to Session #1
on key trends in population, technology, economics,
human settlements, science and societal values, and
3) identification of possible emerging issues regarding
land use and natural resources.
   The group took particular interest in the land use/
natural resource implications resulting from popula-
tion growth, commenting that it will be difficult to
support future resource availability and use; espe-
cially in developing countries. Further, there was
discussion that growth and development patterns
seem to suggest that coastal areas would be particu-
larly threatened with environmental degradation.
Because of increased urbanization, it was felt that food
and water supplies would be in short supply and that
soil degradation would be a consequence.
   The group noted several problems which confront
policy makers regarding futures.  Problems include
how to bring futures into the policy-making sphere,
how to involve developing countries in futures work,
and the need to develop a means to identify and
address critical emerging issues.
   In discussing emerging issues, the group focused
on a conceptual framework developed by one of the
members to guide the discussion. Futures-related
problems of land use and natural resources were
identified by considering the strains on the earth's
"carrying capacity." The many broad areas of futures-
related discussion and debate were categorized along
the following lines:

Population Growth and Development

The group discussed the view that there will be
growth of megacities, especially in coastal areas,
increasing problems with waste disposal and land use.
Another problem cited was the pressure on natural
resources in poorer countries, as well as issues of
social fragmentation, which could contribute to mass
migrations across national borders.
April, 1997

Resource Limitations

Workgroup members discussed the potential for an
increase in wastelands in agricultural areas due to
salinization and overuse, the possibility of extraordi-
nary weather (leading to possible food crises), the
sensitivity of agricultural markets to transport costs,
and the impact of environmental issues on trade.

Global Risks

Among the issues discussed were the high potential
for increasing conflicts over fresh water, and water
contamination problems. Also, there was much
discussion of regional conflicts over energy sources,
fisheries and agricultural lands that could take place
in many parts of the world.


The workgroup noted the need to consider changes in
production and consumption patterns. Integrating the
full costs of resource use in pricing and an increased
environmental awareness by local communities could
have a positive effect.

Science and Information

Workgroup members foresaw several trends which
might affect the gap between sustainability and
carrying capacity related to science and information.
Some members thought that there might be positive
effects, such as increased energy efficiency with
greater use of renewable energy sources.


The workgroup also identified indicators of positive
change in future land and natural resource use pat-
terns. Increasing opportunities to work at the com-
munity level and to have economic decisions stem
from attention to environmental concerns were noted
during this discussion. Environmental stewardship
was thought to be a key attribute of the future, which
could help to change consumption patterns. Also,
there was discussion of the positive role that could be
played by women by virtue of increased educational
Group 8

Health and Ecological Effects

Dr. Antonio Navarra (Italy)

The Health and Ecological Effects Group identified
several common characteristics of global environmen-
tal problems. First, they tend to be cross-media rather
than confined to one specific environmental medium
(land, air, or water). Second, global problems affect
both toxicity and ecotoxicity. Third, solving major
environmental problems takes a long time; there are
no easy, quick solutions. Finally, there frequently can
be a conflict between short-term and long-term actions
taken to address global problems.
   The group discussed the difference between
established health and ecological problems and those
that are emerging. It acknowledged the hard work
underway to fix current problems, but concluded that
inter-related new problems will have to be addressed
simultaneously. In the category of established, or
known health issues, the group listed environmental
endocrine disrupters, the presence of toxic substances,
and the use of fossil fuels. Known ecological problems
discussed included ocean pollution,  the extraction and
use of fossil fuels, and waste streams from industrial
production.  The emerging problems of the future
were less clear, but the group thought that these
included the introduction of exotic species, ocean
biology, catastrophic effects of climate change (e.g.,
drought, floods, violent storms, etc.), contamination
and scarcity of groundwater, and a range of environ-
mental issues like the understanding and management
of biodiversity and the decentralization of productive
   The group thought the socio-political issues that
may be associated with future health and ecological
effects could lead to geopolitical strife caused by
degraded land, unclean air, and the scarcity of potable
water. In addition, the group felt that equity  over the
allocation and use of environmental resources could
cause tensions. The group talked about access to
policy-making mechanisms at the national and inter-
national level that may be available to discuss and
resolve health and ecological issues. Finally, the group
made some suggestions about future multi-disciplin-
                                                              G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

ary research and analytical techniques, like modeling
and quantitative analysis, that could be useful in
understanding future environmental issues.
   The Health and Ecological Effects Group thought
the meeting was a positive start in talking about and
understanding environmental futures and found the
discussions useful and stimulating.

Group C

Energy, Transportation, and
Global Climate

Mr. Robert Hull (European Union)

The group agreed at the outset of its discussion that
energy, transportation and global climate are three
important, interrelated areas that will have a signifi-
cant impact on the environment of the future. During
their discussion, members of Group C focused on the
probability of the future events, not necessarily their
desirability or feasibility.
   In the area of energy, members of Group C dis-
cussed their perceptions of current trends in energy
use, which the group concluded are unsustainable.
Options for dealing with future energy needs dis-
cussed by the group  included:
a. even greater exploitation of fossil fuels (with
associated rises in price);
b. increased development of nuclear power;
c. development of renewable sources of energy; and/
d. dramatically less consumption of energy.
   In any event, the group concluded that diminishing
availability of energy supplies will be a likely source
of conflict in the future.
   In the area of transportation, current trends toward
increased mobility were also perceived as unsustain-
able by members of Group C. The group discussed
transportation costs,  which will constitute a larger
portion of the economy, the likelihood of greater
worldwide congestion and new risks associated with
the introduction of alien species (and diseases) in new
areas of the world. Despite these difficulties, the
group concluded that the public will be slow to see the
need for—and accept—any change in its desire for
increased mobility.
   In the area of Global Climate, group members
concluded that the problem is still with us and will
only become more apparent as we move into the
future. It was suggested that there is a strong likeli-
hood that technological "solutions" now envisioned
will not significantly alleviate the problem. While the
group concluded that global climate negotiations
certainly need to continue, it was the view of many in
the group that the implementation of international
agreements will be inadequate to reverse current
trends toward climate change. The need for govern-
ments to shift their attention from control strategies to
adaptive strategies was also discussed.
   In order to address these problems effectively, the
group discussed the need for greater openness and
cooperation. Specifically, group members suggested
that there needs to be more public dialogue and
greater transparency in environmental decision-
making in order to win public confidence. Some
suggested that conditions will require the creation
and/or enhancement of institutional cooperation in
areas such as technology transfer and improvement/
coordination of global monitoring to track indicators
of environmental change.

Group D

New Technology

Avrim Lazar (Canada) and
Peter Bogdanov (Russia)

Participants spent little time trying to predict the
specific environmental issues for 2020 resulting from
technology innovations. Instead, two lines of discus-
sion were pursued. One started with the observation
that the societal context, not technology itself, is the
key to anticipating the future environmental improve-
ment of new technologies, and ended with a call for a
common environmental vision that will help build a
constituency for sustainable application of new
technologies. The other started with the impossibility
of accurately predicting the environmental issues and
ended with a call for new forms of monitoring or
"early warning" of environmental issues.
   Discussion started with the question of how new
technology will potentially impact the environment in
the future. The group agreed that technology can be
both good and bad for the environment. The question
is how to encourage the beneficial side. For example,
April, 1997

one implication of information technology is that it
creates value without creating more "goods." It could
be used to address the need for a shift in societal
   The group concluded that to marshal technology in
support of sustainability, there must be the political
will to develop technology in the proper direction.
For the short term, a multi-stakeholder approach is
needed to define problems and push the idea of
sustainability from the bottom up.
   It was suggested that there is a break-even point in
pollution prevention that companies will spend to
achieve reductions (it saves them money). Beyond
this point, regulation moves polluters beyond the
break-even point to clean up further.
   Mechanisms are needed to deal not only with the
problems we know of in the short term, but also those
anticipated in 25 years.  Given that it is difficult to
determine current environmental conditions, it was
suggested that a global monitoring system is needed.
   It was remarked that in the three dimensions of
time, scale, and complexity of environmental issues,
we are dealing with problems that our global, long
term, and complex. Political decision-making is
mainly short term, local and simple. Somehow, this
disparity must be resolved.
   The group called for the development of an
improved social context for new technology, aimed at
steering technological development towards
sustainability. It was stated that we know how to do
this to a certain extent; by internalizing environmental
costs and through regulation. However, it was ob-
served that we do not as yet have the political will to
direct technological innovations toward sustainability.
To achieve this, the group reiterated the need for a
critique of the .current system, a new vision, and
strategies and tactics, with the most important being
what we lack most-a new vision.
   In creating a new vision, participants suggested
that well being needs to be distinguished from simply
the need for "well having" to establish a measure of
environmental well-being.
   Participants confirmed that it was valuable to
conduct this discussion, and that it might be helpful to
have a longer discussion on a narrower topic.
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Session 3
Plenary Discussion:  "Insights from 2020"

On the morning of the second day of the meeting, the
plenary heard reports from each of the four Session #2
discussion groups.
   A spokesperson for each of the breakout groups
presented some of the major points brought forward
during each group's discussion. (See Session #2
Summaries, above, and Appendix C for details of
these discussions).
   A discussion of important issues identified by the
groups followed, after which the participants turned
their attention to evaluating the present meeting and
looking toward next steps in the process of interna-
tional collaboration on environmental futures.

Comments on the Issues

In a wide-ranging discussion, participants commented
on the issues identified in the Session #2 groups.
   One participant expressed concern about the future
of global transport of goods on two fronts:
1. Increased global exchange of goods will quite
conceivably lead to the inadvertent transport of
disease/exotic species to new areas, causing a public
backlash against such global exchanges;
2. Pockets of poverty on the globe could give rise to a
level of illegal activity (e.g., pirating) that would
disrupt trade to such an extent that insurance would
not be available.
   Regarding the application of scientific knowledge
to policy making in the area of climate change, one
participant remarked that it is important that in
addition to monitoring, there be the promotion of
technology regarding environmental change. In
addition to scientific research and monitoring, we
need the political will and leadership to move towards
a more sustainable future. An important ingredient
will be the integration of environmental and economic
   One participant suggested that technology, once it
is developed and utilized, cannot be easily removed
from the market. It was also noted that Group D had
emphasized that technology development should be
directed towards societal desires, and that venture
capital is needed to bring technology from an idea to
actual use.
   Participants discussed the view that technological
development is somewhat predictable, whereas the
social response and consequences are not. One partici-
pant offered that in order to communicate real futures
possibilities, we need richer story telling about the .
future, with an emphasis on credibility. Broader
audiences either do not believe the specifics of future
scenarios, or they believe mem, but are apathetic.
   Participants explored the question of the role of
government in working with industry, non-govern-
ment organizations and the public to create a sustain-
able future. During the discussion, a number of
participants encouraged the group to think more
positively about the environment and the future,
envisioning what we believe a sustainable future
would be like (i.e., develop a normative scenario, and
then examine what can be done now to encourage the
evolution of events in that direction).
   Another factor mentioned was the role of
transnational corporations and competition in global
markets. Participants discussed whether the globaliza-
tion process results in discrepancies between the elite
and those who are marginalized. One participant
suggested that governments attempt to address
environmental matters, but they are not as strong as
they used to be.  In the view of some, governments do
not lead; rather they respond to well-articulated
community concerns. Therefore, perhaps more
attention should be focused on empowering people as
a means of changing government actions.  In this vein,
a delegate suggested that industry needs to develop
more self-governing and enforcing principles to guide
the development and sustainable use of their prod-
April, 1997

ucts. Others pointed to the need to find economic
incentives for large enterprises in dealing with envi-
ronmental matters in order to sustain a shift in
   One participant described the need for new
institutions and participation by businesses to address
many of the problems highlighted.  Also, the need for
innovative ways to synthesize and disseminate
outcomes was expressed. It was suggested that it
would be most helpful to better organize the interna-
tional monitoring of environmental trends.
   The difficulty of finding on-going funding for
general research was pointed out. One participant
remarked that more research will not always provide
answers or new ideas.
   The need for caution was emphasized regarding
the institutionalization of processes for international
monitoring and identifying and responding to prob-

Comments on the
Environmental Futures Forum

A number of participants again observed that much
of the discussion during the Forum had been some-
what pessimistic. It was suggested that the group
members should carefully examine the message they
take back to their respective governments to make
sure that it includes many of the benefits to be gained
from the  insights provided by futures work.  For
example, members of the group suggested that it is
critical to summarize the added value of this futures
process; it could be attractive to governments. The
interdisciplinary nature of the discussion was thought
to be a strength. Also, the examination of environ-
mental problems led to discussions of other issue
areas, like commerce. One added value of a futures
process was thought to be that this proactive, cross-
sectoral approach could result in new perspectives
that challenge existing paradigms. A participant
remarked that in order to make such a process even
more effective, local communities and local knowl-
edge must be tapped, not just government and indus-
try perspectives. It was mentioned that some coun-
tries already are conducting extensive research into
enhancing the capacity to predict the future.
   Many participants felt that there is a need to
advocate for more work on environmental futures.
Some suggested that the group make it clear that the
Forum, by serving as a lookout panel for new environ-
mental concerns in the year 2020, was working with
only one of several useful approaches to futures
analysis. This led to a brief discussion of other
approaches, including scenario-building through
forecasting and trends evaluation. Another approach
discussed involves defining a strategy that highlights
policy options for addressing problems we already
know. Normative scenarios that build visions for the
future were also discussed. Finally,  techniques to
discover and study problems we do not yet know
much about, and estimating the associated risks, were
considered. The group agreed that in this discussion,
they were fairly timid on this latter approach, attribut-
ing the hesitancy to a natural aversion to surprises.
One  delegate stated mat we must accept that in each
century, there have been major upheavals. It will
occur again in the next century, and we must renew
our stock of ideas and prepare a new frame of mind.
   The group discussed the  proposed audience for
the results of the meeting and possible challenges the
group faces. Some individuals wondered if the best
audience might be individuals beyond the environ-
mental ministers of the countries represented. As an
example of the difficulty of going beyond ministers,
some reminded participants of the challenge of even
identifying and agreeing when an environmental
problem is conclusively a problem. Individuals also
highlighted the question of identifying criteria to
measure environmental problems. How do we all
know what is the best environmental future?
   In summary, there was a broad and strong en-
dorsement for having held a successful Forum,
coupled with an enthusiastic expression of interest to
continuing these discussions.

Chair's  Summary

Mr. Hansen provided the chair's summary of discus-
sions at the Futures Forum. First, Mr. Hansen com-
mented on Mr. Schwartz's insight in  Session #1 about
the usefulness of looking for early indicators as "weak
signals" of important change. He suggested that
environmental futures work is not about making
accurate predictions of the future. Rather, it recog-
nizes the benefits of responding to early indicators of
change by asking "What if...?" questions. The goal is
to broaden our range of thinking today so that we will
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

be better able to shape a future, and better prepared to
deal with that future, whatever it may be.
   Mr. Hansen then summarized discussions at the
Futures Forum, highlighting several participants'
insights about the key drivers of future change and
some of their possible environmental consequences.
He reminded participants that Session #1 had focused
on the principal drivers of future change, including
new technology, science, economics, human settle-
ments, societal attitudes and population. With the
assistance of presentations by a panel of international
experts in these fields, meeting participants had an
opportunity to exchange views on specific topics such
as energy consumption, trends in transportation use,
and the relationship between complex global demo-
graphic patterns and environmental impacts in both
urban and rural areas. A keener appreciation of the
strength of these drivers of change suggested to
participants the benefits of better anticipating future
environmental changes before these emerging prob-
lems became subject to the urgencies of political
decision-making. Participants also discussed tech-
niques, such as cross-sectoral analysis, to better
understand the complex interaction of forces shaping
the environment challenges of the future.
   Session 2 afforded an exchange of views in small
discussion groups on "emerging problems" that might
define the environmental protection challenges in the
year 2020 in the areas of land use and natural re-
sources, health and ecological effects, energy, trans-
portation, global climate change, and new technolo-
gies. Several issues areas were identified in these
group discussions as among the emerging environ-
mental concerns of the future, meriting further investi-
gation and attention. These included biological
diversity, the complex interactions within and among
ecosystems, significant changes in the ocean environ-
ment, the environmental impacts of economic dispari-
ties between the "haves" and "have-nots," and the
potential for developing new technologies to support
   Finally, Session 3 focused on actions to both
anticipate and address future environmental impacts,
including scientific research (basic and applied),
collaboration (bilateral and multilateral), monitoring
of environmental indicators and broader indices of
change, and changes in governance and institutional
and social structure. Mr. Hansen used the image of
building a roadway to describe the potential benefit of
cooperative futures work. Such a roadway might be
used by environmental policymakers as an avenue to
the environmental challenges of the future without
prescribing any single point-of-view or response to
these challenges.
    Noting that several delegates had commented on
the usefulness of multilateral dialogue on environ-
mental futures, Mr. Hansen completed his summary
by presenting several ideas for next steps in this
collaborative process. Following a discussion of these
ideas and an exchange of views on the benefits of
international collaboration on environmental futures,
participants identified five specific next steps:

Preparation of Meeting Proceedings: It was agreed
that this record of discussions at the Futures Forum
should be prepared for further consideration by
Forum participants and other interested parties.

Informal Reports to Governments: Several delega-
tions expressed their intent to report to their govern-
ments on the results of the Forum, including reports to
environment ministers.

Steering Committee Work: It was agreed that the
international steering committee that prepared the
Forum agenda would continue its work. The steering
committees' immediate agenda is to include review
and approval of the meeting proceedings and consid-
eration of next steps in collaborative futures work
among the eight countries represented at the Forum,
the European Commission and other interested

Bilateral/Multilateral Collaboration on Futures: It
was agreed that some of the best collaborative work
on futures should take place between and among
countries with common interest in a particular issue or
activity. Several opportunities for bilateral or multi-
lateral cooperation on futures were identified by
Forum participants during the course of the meeting.

International Meeting on Futures: Participants
discussed holding another international meeting on
environmental futures during calendar year 1997. The
steering committee was charged with considering the
structure and agenda for such a meeting.
   Mr. Hansen thanked the delegates for their partici-
pation, wished them well on their return home, and
adjourned the meeting.
April, 1997

Forum  Agenda
3-5 p.m.       Steering Committee Meeting (C St.
              Entrance, U.S. Department of State)
6-8 p.m.       Reception (Embassy of the Federal
              Republic of Germany, 4645
              Reservoir Rd.)

8 a.m.
8:45 a.m.
Session 1
Registration (C St. Entrance,
U.S. Department of State)
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Deputy Administrator Fred Hansen
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Administration Officials
Morning Plenary Discussion: Technol
ogy, Society and the Environment in
the Year 2020"
• Remarks on Futures Methodologies^by Peter
Schwartz, President, Global Business Network.
Remarks will be based on Mr. Schwartz's experience
using futures methodologies to anticipate change for
public and private sector clients worldwide.
• Plenary Discussion on the Environmental Implica-
tions of Trends in Science, Technology and the
Economy for the Year 2020. Panelists comment on
trends in basic science, technological development and
economy to introduce a plenary discussion on the
possible environmental implications of these trends.
Panelists include Shuzo Nishioka (science), Esther
Dyson (technology), and Christian Stoffaes (economy).
Coffee Break

• Plenary Discussion on the Environmental Implica-
tions of Trends in Population, Human Settlement and
                                     Societal Attitudes for the Year 2020. Panelists com-
                                     ment on trends in population, human settlement and
                                     societal attitudes to introduce a discussion on the
                                     possible environmental implications of these trends
                                     among all participants. Panelists include Alene
                                     Gelbard (population), Peter Calthorpe (human settle-
                                     ments), and Raimondo Boggia (societal attitudes).
                                     Noon-l:30     National Academy of Sciences
                                     Session 2
              Afternoon Concurrent Meetings:
              Environmental Issues in the Year
• Breakout Group Meetings on Environmental Issues.
Four groups of 10-12 Country Experts participate in
facilitated look-out panels to discuss novel environ-
mental issues that may be of concern in G-7 countries
in the year 2020. Each group will be assigned an initial
focus for its discussion, as follows:
Group A:      Land Use (Urban/Rural) and Natural
              Resources (French/English)
Group B:      Ecological and Health Effects
Group C:      Energy/Transportation/Climate
Change        (French/English)
Group D:      New Technologies (English Only)
The discussion groups will make use of two tools to
look "beyond the horizon": environmental issues
collected from country reports and critical trends
identified in Session 1.
A list of country report environmental issues, many of
which describe how current conditions may progress
over the next 25 years, has been prepared for each
group, highlighting those issues most relevant for each
topic. However, all groups are free to discuss any
issues on the list or new issues that may emerge
during the discussion. Participants are asked to review
the issue list prior to the Futures Forum and to iden-
tify those issues most likely to yield insightful discus-
Facilitators will assist each group in preparing a one-
page list of the most significant insights emerging
from the discussion, in particular new ways of think-
ing about the environment that may be important in
coping with the challenges of the twenty-first century.
                                               G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

One or more steering committee members will report
back to the plenary on the results of each discussion

6-8 p.m.       Reception (Embassy of Canada, 501
              Pennsylvania Ave.)

Session 3
9:00-Noon     Morning Plenary Discussion: "Insights
              from 2020"
• Group Presentations followed by a Roundtable
Discussion. Each group from Session #2 makes a brief
presentation on the most interesting and significant
insights that emerged during its discussions, followed
by questions and answers. Participants then consider
the implications of these insights for current environ-
mental policy making.
Coffee Break
• Next Steps
• Closing Remarks
              Deputy Administrator Fred Hansen
              U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
April, 1997

      En mai 1996, les ministres de 1'environnement
      des pays du G7 (Canada, France, Allemagne,
      Japon, Italic, Royaume-Uni et Etats-Unis) se
sont rencontres a Cabourg, pour discuter de divers
sujets concernant 1'environnement et le
developpement durable. Ces ministres conclurent que
1'identification precoce des difficultes et problemes a
venir permettrait une gestion plus efficace des ques-
tions portant sur 1'environnement et la sante publique.
Reconnaissant les avantages d'un effort international
dans ce domains, ils s'engagerent a se coordonner au
sein du G7 afin d'anticiper et de repondre aux
changements ecologiques et a travailler de concert
pour approfondir les questions de prospective
environnementale, Les Etats-Unis offrirent d'organiser
un Forum de prospective environnementale, au
printemps 1997, pour developper ces objectifs.
   En decembre 1996, le gouvernement f ratals fut
1'hote d'un comite' directeur international, r^uni pour
rapporter les activites du G7 dans le domaine de la
prospective environnementale et etablir des objectifs
precis pour le Forum du G7. Au cours de cette
rencontre a Paris et de teleconferences ulterieures, le
comite directeur etablit un programme de travail pour
le Forum, destine a stimuler le dialogue entre experts
sur les questions environnementales susceptibles
d'affecter les pays du G7 en 1'an 2020.
   Le comite directeur fut egalement charge de la
preparation du Forum. Ces travaux preliminaires
inclurent la preparation de rapports sur la prospective
environnementale par les entite's participantes qui,
outre les pays du G7, incluaient la Russie et la Com-
mission europeenne. Le gouvernement canadien
compila ces rapports et en fit la synthese. Un resume
est presente a 1'annexe D de ce document.
   Le Forum de prospective environnementale s'est
tenu au Departement d'Etat arnericain a Washington,
D.C. les 4 et 5 avril 1997. Les delegations des pays du
G7, de Russie et de la Commission europeenne etaient
constitutes de prospectivistes de 1'environnement,
chercheurs, conseillers scientifiques aupres des
gouvemements, ainsi que de reprgsentants de
1'industrie et des organismes non gouvernementaux.
   La rencontre debuta par une discussion pleniere
sur les facteurs affectant 1'avenir de 1'environnement.
Assistes par un petit groupe international d'experts de
differents secteurs, les participants au Forum
discuterent des consequences possibles des tendances
de la science, de la technologic, du developpement
economique, de la population, du peuplement et des
attitudes societales en 2020.
   Les delegues se diviserent en quatre groupes et
participerent a des debats animes portant sur les
6ventuels problemes environnementaux de 1'an 2020,
et en particulier les nouvelles difficultes que des
indicateurs pr£coces peuvent permettre d'entrevoir.
Un sujet de discussion initial fut assigne a chacun des
A. Occupation du sol et ressources naturelles
B. Repercussions sur I'ecologie et la sante
C. Energie, transports et changements des conditions
D. Nouvelles technologies
   Lors d'une seance pleniere de cloture, chaque
groupe fit une breve presentation des points les plus
significatifs issus des discussions, suivie de questions
et reponses. Les participants discuterent ensuite des
implications possibles de ces differents points sur
1'etablissement de reglementations
   La rencontre se termina sur la ferme conviction des
avantages d'une cooperation Internationale dans le
domaine de la prospective environnementale. II fut
convenu que des travaux sur le futur de
1'environnement devraient etre entrepris
conjointement par les pays ayant des interets
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

communs sur les nouvelles questions
environnementales. Les participants discuterent de
I'eventualite d'une autre rencontre Internationale sur
la prospective environnementale, au cours de I'anne'e
civile 1997. Le conu'te" directeur fut charge d'etudier
1'organisation et le programme d'un tel colloque.
   Ce compte rendu du Forum de prospective
environnementale du G7 a pour but :
• de resumer les discussions sur les principaux sujets
abordes au cours de chaque seance;
• de consigner certaines des ide"es les plus audacieuses
presentees lors des discussions; et
• de transmettre 1'enthousiasme des participants a
cette recontre sur la prospective en environnement.
   Nous esperons que ce rapport sera informatif et
stimulera une future collaboration intemationale dans
le domaine de la prospective environnementale.
April, 1997

Discussion pleniere d'ouverture:
"Technologic, societe et environnement de Van 2020 "

M. Fred Hansen, administrateur adjoint de l'U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, ouvrit la seance et
presida la rencontre. II souhaita la bienvenue aux
fitats-Unis avix participants de ce premier colloque du
groupe des G7 sur la prospective environnementale. II
fit remarquer que cet evenement avait 6te mis en place
lors de la conference ministe'rielle du G7 de Cabourg.
Les participants se presentment et M. Hansen annonc.a
le programme pour les deux joumees de la rencontre.
II suggera que pour assurer le succes du Forum, les
participants devraient:

• faire preuve d'enthousiasme et renouveler leur
engagement a relever les d£fis environnementaux de

• acqu£rir de nouvelles connaissances aupres de leurs
* obtenir de meilleurs resultats par voie de

• prendre les mesures necessaires et mettre en oeuvre
un processus de promotion d'une telle attitude panni
et entre les nations participantes.


M. Hansen presenta ensuite M, Peter Schwartz, du
Global Business Network, qui fit office de moderateur
pour le panneau d'experts dont chacun des membres
exprima ses opinions sur le theme: « Technologic,
societ^ et environnement de 1'an 2020 ».

   Dans ses remarques, M. Schwartz declara que Ton
se faisait souvent une fausse id6e de 1'avenir car on
avait tendance a baser nos idees du futur non pas sur
le monde reel mais sur des perceptions ou une des
barrieres mentales acquises au travers de nos
experiences et de notre education. II fit observer que
ces barrieres mentales pouvaient entraver le realisme
de notre conception des problemes de 1'avenir, et que
la plupart de nos methodologies prospectivistes
etaient en fait fondees sur une extrapolation du passe.
A titre d'exemple, il indiqua a quel point il aurait ete
difficile de pr£voir ce que serait le mode du 20eme
siecle par simple extrapolation de la vie a la fin du
19eme. II souligna que notre probleme etait d'imaginer
la nature et 1'ampleur des changements auxquels nous
pouvions e"tre confrontes dans 1'avenir etant donne la
formidable Evolution de la technologic, de la politique
et du commerce. C'est en elaborant et en etudiant des
scenarios possibles du monde futur que nous pouvons
essayer d'eviter de « grosses » surprises.

M. Schwartz decrivit trois classes generates de
scenarios de 1'avenir:

1) la croissance dictee par la technologic;
2) 1'evolution dictee par 1'ecologie; et
3) la fragmentation dictee par la politique
   Panni les evenruelles surprises, il cita des moyens
de transport economiques et ecologiques, des
hyperv^hicules, la nanotechnologie, 1'antigravM, le
clonage humain a bas prix, le controle biologique de la
prog^niture et la prolongation de 1'esperance de vie. II
exhorta les participants au Forum a viser plus haut, a
abattre les barrieres mentales et a imaginer les defis
auxquels nous risquons d'etre confrontes dans 20 ans.

M. Shuzo Nishioka, Institut national
des eludes environnementales du

Tendances scientifiques

M. Nishioka suggera que la societe ne devrait pas
s'attendre a de trop grandes avanc^es scientifiques
dans un avenir imm^diat car la « recolte » des fruits de
la science est dans une certaine mesure, devenue
moins abondante, nous allions vivre une £poque
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

moins prolifique. Quoi qu'il en soit, les bienfaits de la
science seront grands, surtout si nous parvenons h
restructurer le monde scientifique.                ..,.,
   II demanda: "Qu'entendons-nous par science?",
suggerant ainsi que les developpements'
technologiques sont des extensions de la science. II
invoqua que les progres de la science soient dictes par
une quite de la connaissance, de la satisfaction des
besoins sociaux et notre passe historique, et soutenus
par lesnouvelles technologies.
   M. Nishioka avanca que le rythme d'evolution du
monde naturel etait souvent lent et en conflit avec les
programmes de recherches. Par exemple, le cycle de
floraison de certaines plantes tropicales peut s'etendre
sur deux ou trois decennies. C'est done, pour 1'etre
humain un sujet re"barbatif et difficile a etudier.
Parallelement, de tels phenomenes peuvent revetir
une importance vitale en ce qui concerne le
developpement d'une bonne comprehension de
1'ecologie des forets tropicales.

Mme Esther Dyson, Edventure
Holdings         •-.,..

Tendances technologiques

Mme Dyson fit d'abord remarquer que 1'abondance
d'informations permise par les avancees
technologiques est en passe de changer notre maniere
de penser et d'agir. Elle poursuivit en disant que bien
que 1'Internet ait etc baptise «1'autoroute de
1'information », elle pr£ferait 1'appeler «
1'environnement de 1'information », un site par lequel
passent les informations qui, a 1'instar de
1'environnement, ne connalt pas de frontieres
nationales officielles et favorise en outre 1'interaction
globale tout en r^duisant le role, le pouvoir et
rautorite" des gouvernements.
   Elle fit remarquer que la technologic de
1'information permettait en fait aux gen's de ne pas
quitter leur propre environhement, quelle que rut leur
destination. Toutefois, soulignant 1'importance du
contact humain, Mme Dyson predit que plus la
technologie progresserait, plus les gens seraient a la
recherche de ce contact. Ironiquement, il est possible
que les progres de la technologie de 1'information
s'accompagnent par consequent d'une augmentation
du trafic aerien et autres activites favorisant le contact
humain, avec tout ce que cela implique au niveau des
repercussions sur 1'environnement.
   Mme Dyson predit egalement que la technologie
de 1'information serait favorable au secteur de la vente
au detail. Les.gens commanderont des biens
directement aupres des fabricants ou des
intermediaires, ce qui accroitra la qualite" de produc-
tion et de distribution des produits. Elle fit remarquer
que la «tele"medecine » permettra sans doute aux
spe"cialistes d'offrir leurs services a grande distance.
De fac.on generate, elle annonc/a que, grace & la
technologie de 1'information, les gens pourront mieux
comprendre 1'influence de leur propre comportement
sur les biens qu'ils achetent, ainsi que sur les societes
qui les fabriquent. Elle rappela au groupe que, dans
chaque pays, un certain nombre de personnes ne
seraient pas en mesure d'acceder a 1'environnement de
rinformation ni de beneficier des avantages de cette
ressource mondiale. Elle declara que le devoir de tout
gouvernement serait de permettre & ses citoyens
d'utiliser cette technologie de 1'information pour
prendre contact avec le reste du monde.

M.  Christian Stoffaes, Electricite de

Tendances economiques

M. Stoffaes commenc.a par souligner que la nouvelle
croissance economique des pays industrialises £tait de
bon augure. II indiqua un ralentissement dans le
developpement des industries lourdes (telles  que la
siderurgie, 1'exploitation miniere et les produits
chimiques), qui sont parvenues a maturity. Le secteur
tertiaire est en pleine expansion, particulierement
dans les domaines de la haute technologie et de
1'investissement dans 1'environnement. II fit
remarquer que la technologie d'aujourd'hui est plus
propre que par le passe, ce qui constirue un avantage
ecologique important pour les regions et pays en voie
de developpement tels que I'Extre'me Orient et la
Chine. II predit que le reste du monde allait connaitre
une croissance ralentie parallelement a une augmenta-
tion de la pauvrete et souligna qu'a I'heure actuelle
deux milliards d'habitants des pays en voie de
developpement vivaient sans electricite.
   M. Stoffaes mentionna que le developpement de
1'economie Internationale et le nombre croissant des
Economies de march£ conduiraient a une diminution
du role des etats et que meme les Economies
naissantes investiraient a 1'etrahger.
   II demanda si le libre-echange allait avoir un
impact positif ou negatif sur 1'environnement, antici-
April, 1997

pint qu'il serait a 1'origine de nouvelles technologies
pouvant etre appliquees a 1'ecologie. II dit s'attendre a
ce que la nouvelie notion d'integration de l'£conomie
et des 6cosystemes gagnerait en popularity mais
remarqua que Ton avait pour 1'instant toujours le
sentiment que I'&ronomie et 1'environnement eiaient
en conflit.
   Selon M. Stoffeas, la consommation d'e'nergie
connaitra une augmentation de 50 % dans le monde
entier au cours des 25 prochaines anne'es et triplera
voire quadruplera en Chine et dans d'autres pays
asiatiques, mettant ainsi plus 1'accent sur la securite et
la ge'opolitique. Les moyens de production d'energie
seront parmi les principaux choix qu'auront a faire les
pays. II recommanda que les pays, particulierement
ceux en voie de developpement, reconsiderent le «
paradoxe » concernant I'^nergie nucteaire.


L'un des participants declara que Ton perdait souvent
du temps a determiner le pourquoi des problemes
environnementaux. II suggera que les pays prennent
1'Action 21 en consideration et fit observer que si Ton
ne pouvait pas attendre les progres de la science, Ton
devait agir immediatement. Comment compensons-
nous le manque de connaissances des questions
environnementales ? Ce participant souligna
1'importance du concept d'une strategic globale, non
pas seulement des aspects scientifiques, et exprima
son scepticisme quant au pouvoir de la science a
determiner seule les secteurs d" action specifiques.
Nous avons besoin de davantage d'informations et de
processus de prise de decision solides. Cette personne
avanga egalement que les informations etaient plus
faciles a rassembler du fait de la technologic des
communications mais qu'il restait difficile d'affronter
un probleme et de discerner les nouvelles tendances.
   Quelqu'un d'autre fit remarquer que, bien que Ton
savait comment anticiper 1'evolution economique, ce
n'etait pas le cas en ce qui concernait les resultats du
deVeloppement de la science et de la technologic.
Cette personne souligna que Ton ne pouvait pas
imaginer quels problemes surgiraient ni ce  que
produiraient la science et la technologic, impliquant
ainsi 1'importance d'associer les specialistes de la
prospective et les scientifiques. Avons-nous fait des
progres au cours des 60 dernieres anne'es ?
Connaissons-nous les consequences de la troisieme
revolution industrielle ? Les reponses a ces questions
seraient utiles.
   Un autre participant indiqua que la valeur des
reseaux d'information pour I'analyse devrait etre
evalue'e. Cette personne observa que plus la quantite
d'informations mises a notre disposition augmentait,
plus les choix offerts etaient nombreux et qu'il etait
possible de se perdre dans les donne~es. S'appuyant
sur des etudes concluant que les gens avaient peur des
reseaux et de la nature incontrolable de cet
environnement, ce participant demanda a Mme Dyson
si cette peur pourrait limiter le developpement d'une
"utopie de I'information".
   Mme Dyson repondit que 1'expansion d'un
environnement d'information suscitait beaucoup de
craintes, certaines etant justifies et d'autres non. Elle
fit observer que les gens devaient £tre mieux eduques
pour utiliser la technologic. Elle declara egalement
que de nouvelles communautes non basees sur la
proximite geographique, etaient en train de se former
dans le cyberespace. L'Internet n'est, dans sa plus
grande partie, pas regule par les autorites
traditionnelles et constitue un environnement dans
lequel les gens etablissent des regies pour eux-memes.
II existe peu de reglementations pour la lutte centre le
terrorisme et les atteintes a la securite nationale, ce qui
mettait 1'usage de la technologic dans une position
bien difficile. Bien qu'il y ait des tendances
predominantes sur lesquelles nous pouvons avoir un
impact, il existe d'autres innovations technologiques
sur lesquelles nous n'avons pour 1'instant que peu de
   Mme Dyson suggera que les gens devraient utiliser
la technologic, la science et 1'economie puis les
int^grer dans un processus de developpement du-
rable. Elle ajouta que, plut6t que de se laisser aller au
pessimisme, les preneurs de decision devaient
s'attacher a la conception d'actions specifiques
destinees a fac.onner 1'avenir souhaite.


Alene Gelbard, Population Reference

Tendances de la population

Mme Gelbard fit remarquer que les projections
demographiques jusqu'a 1'an 2025 indiquaient des
changements considerables au niveau de la taille de la
population et de la repartition geographique. D'autre
part, des changements probables dans la faeon dont
les gens utilisent les ressources affecteront 1'impact de
           G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

 ces tendances de peuplement sur 1'environnement.
 Elle indiqua egalement que la population mondiale
 allait s'accroitre, partkulierement dans les pays en
 vole de de veloppement. La croissance sera due en
 grande partie a la natalite, ce qui signifie que la realite
 de i'avenir peut etre bien differente que ce que laissent
 presurner les projections de fecondite. La difference
 pouvait s'exprimer en milliards de personnes. Mme
 Gelbard souligna que, bien entendu, les taux de
 mortalite et les projections auraient une influence sur
 les tendances demographiques. On presume que le
 SIDA ralentira 1'expansion demographique dans les
 regions subsahariennes mais n'affectera pas la
 croissance de la population au niveau national.
    Mme Gelbard mentionna que la population
 actuelle de la terre etait de 5,8 milliards et que, selon
. certaines estimations, elle atteindrait les 8 milliards en
 2025. La croissance demographique touchera toutes
 les regions du monde, a 1'exception de 1'Europe. La
 plus importante poussee est prevue pour 1'Afrique,
 dont la population atteindra 1,4 milliard d'habitants. II
 est estime qu'au cours de cette periode, la population
 de la Chine passera de 1,2 a 1,5 milliard et celle de
 1'Inde de 1 a 1,5 milliard d'individus. Elle ajouta que
 certains pays comme 1'Italie et rAllemagne verraient
 un declin de leur population. Selon les provisions, la
 population du Japon en 2025 devrait, apres un
 accroissement suivi d'une diminution, dtre la meme
    Mme Gelbart indiqua que d'importants
 changements dans la repartition geographique de la
 population etaient previsibles. On anticipe une
 augmentation de 1'urbanisation de meme qu'une
 migration continue vers les regions cotieres:
 actuellement deux tiers de la population habitent pres
 des cotes. Selon les resultats d'une etude, les trois
 quarts de la population pourraient vivre dans les
 regions Morales d'ici 2025.
    En resume, la population augmentera au cours de
 cette periode et vieillira du fait de la baisse de la
 fecondite. Mme Gelbard rappela au groupe que la
 croissance demographique eiait a son plus haut
 niveau dans les pays en voie de developpement et que
 beaucoup d'entre eux n'etaient pas prets a accueillir
 une population si massive.
 Peter Calthorpe, Calthorpe and

 Tendances du peuplement

 M. Calthorpe commen^a ses remarques par une
 illustration de la remarquable disparite de
 1'eiablissement humain actuel: aux Philippines, la
 moyenne d'un foyer est de huit personnes alors qu'elle
 n'atteint pas deux aux Etats-Unis. II observa ensuite
 que plusieurs tendances critiques, y compris le
 mouvement des technologies modernes autour du
 globe et la balkanisation des classes economiques,
 etaient a 1'origine de 1'etablissement de communautes
 fondamentales dans les regions metropolitaines du
 monde entier. Ces tendances, ailie"es aux profonds
 desirs de 1'etre humain comme celui d'etre partie.
 integrante de son quartier, sont en train de fac.onner
 les villes de I'avenir.
   M. Calthorpe observa que 1'on se trouvait   -
 prisonnier du paradigme moderne et que certaines
 formes d'etablissement humain etaient a la traine. A
 i'heure actuelle, tous les secteurs d'activite (loisirs,'
 achats et education) sont separes. L'integration
 conceptuelle regagne du terrain alors que Ton
 retourne aux configurations classiques de
 l'etablissement humain, regagnant le dynamisme du
 concept et de la normalisation. M. Calthorpe suggera
 que l'etablissement humain continuerait sa tendance
 de retour a une echelle mieux adaptee a notre espece.
Au fil de 1'histoire, les  espaces ont ete partages, ce qui
 signifie que beaucoup  de besoins materiels sont
 satisfaits dans des lieux publics et de fagon
communautaire. Selon lui, on assisterait a un retour
vers ces methodes.
   M. Calthorpe prMit egalement que les 25
prochaines annees verraient la fin de 1'ere automobile
due aux problemes de  pollution et d'encombrements.
n souligna que meme les communautes les plus riches
ne pourraient en supporter le poids et se demanda si
la mobility electronique allait ou non permettre de
reduire nos besoins en matiere de moyens de trans-
port. Remarquant 1'evidence de 1'impact du
developpement urbain sur 1'ehvironnement, M.
Calthorpe parla de la reaction sociale, plus subtile, aux
tendances actuelles de  1'etablissement humain. II
indiqua que la reaction quasi universelle a la
 April, 1997

proliferation urbaine est un desir de communaute'. Les
gens cherchent & surmonter leur isolement et a con-
server leur rapport avec la nature intact; ils ont besoin
d'un lien avec 1'histoire, avec des lieux et avec une
sorte de pratique spirituelle. De ces tendances decoule
un mouvement social contre les immenses metropoles,
la separation des centres d'activite et la destruction de
la nature. M. Calthorpe recommanda aux participants
de tenir compte du lien entre toutes ces tendances
dans leurs discussions.

Raimondo Boggia, Alchera
Strategic Vision

Tendances des attitudes sociales

M. Boggia commenija par observer que les
prospectivistes occidentaux du 20eme siecle s'etaient
concentres sur l'« ecopessimisme » et fit remarquer
que peu de leurs previsions s'etaient materialisees. II
sugge'ra que cela representait un declin de la culture
occidentale par rapport a d'autres rfyant d'un avenir
   M. Boggia parla ensuite de la reaction de la societe
aux tendances actuelles dans les domaines de
1'innovation technologique et de la globalisation.
   II avanca que les changements structurels resultant
de la technologic moderne etaient comparables a une
combinaison de ceux apportes par la roue, qui permit
de depiacer les marchandises sur de longues distances
et par 1'alphabet, qui re"volutionna le concept de la
communication dans le temps. L'Internet transporte
les sons, les mots, les images et les biens; il unit
1'espace et le temps. La rapidite de 1'evolution e"tant un
facteur important, la question la plus pressante est:
comment controler une culture globalisee ? Aux
quatre coins de la planete, les gens acceptent certains
changements et en refusent d'autres. II suggera qu'une
globalisation qui creerait des opportunites sans
invalider 1'histoire et 1'heritage locaux serait une
   M. Boggia poursuivit en notant que les gens
acquierent leur identite personnelle au travers de leur
communaute ethnique ou religieuse et que 1'identite
sociale est traditionnellement une derivation de la
nationality. II souligna que de plus en plus de
personnes se definissaient par la prise de conscience
de 1'ensemble de la planete. II pr^dit un conflit
culturel entre les populations « possedantes » (c'est a
dire nanties) et celle davantage int£ress£es par le «
bien-Stre »(c'est & dire oriente"es vers les pratiques
spirituelles et les rapports avec la planete et autrui).


Plusieurs commentaires furent emis au sujet du
rapport entre la population et les tendances de
1'etablissement humain. L'un des participants fit
remarquer 1'importance d'inviter les pays en voie de
developpement a joindre les etudes de prospective
environnementale, suivant 1'exemple de la politique
EcoAsie du Japon, promotrice de la cooperation
regionale. Un autre participant indiqua que la
croissance demographique aUait cesser apres 2050.
   II fut remarque qu'un changement s'etait produit
au niveau des tendances d'urbanisation et que les gens
ne desiraient plus vivre en megalopoles. II existe
egalement une tendance a 1'affaiblissement des classes
moyennes dans les pays du Nord. Les participants
tenterent de determiner si le mouvement de la popula-
tion rurale vers les villes avait accru la conscience
   Ils essayerent egalement d'etablir si la «
globah'sation » aurait pour resultat la naissance d'un
modele urbain unif orme ou si au contraire elle
amenerait la diversification. L'un des experts repondit
que Ton se dirigeait vers une diversite de la forme
urbaine et I'adherence a la culture historique. Un autre
avanga qu'une globalisation de la sante genesique etait
en cours.
   D'apres 1'un des participants, les donnees
demographiques indiquaient un passage vers une
importante population de jeunes reduisant ainsi la
stabilite, ces jeunes se disputant les chances et les
ressources. En general, il convient de s'attendre a ce
que les pressions demographiques s'accroissent,
entrainant des conflits au niveau local et regional.
   A la cloture de cette seance, I'un des participants
recommanda que le Forum consacre un certain temps
au developpement de strategies spe'cifiques destinees
a se liberer de 1'etat d'esprit general actuel. II fut
egalement suggere que les participants essaient de
trouver une meilleure fa^on de determiner le niveau
de « bien-etre » que les indices economiques standard.
           G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Groupes de discussions:
"Questions environnementales en I'an 2020"

Apres un dejeuner offert par la National Academy of
Sciences, les dele"gues se diviserent en quatre groupes
pour discuter des questions environnementales
susceptibles d'affecter les pays du G7 en I'an 2020.
L'un des objectifs particuliers de ces discussions etait
les indicateurs precoces des nouvelles questions
environnementales. Chaque groupe se vit assigner
1'un des sujets de discussion suivants:
Groupe A: Occupation du sol (zones urbaines/
rurales) et ressources naturelles
Groupe B: Repercussions sur 1'ecologie et la sante
Groupe C : finergie, transports et changements
Groupe D: Nouvelles technologies
   Les groupes de discussions utiliserent deux sources
pour commencer leur exploration de prospective
environnementale: la prospective identifiee dans les
rapports des pays, prepares pour la rencontre et un
sommaire des discussions de la lere stance portant
sur les tendances critiques utilisees pour une projec-
tion du futur.
   Les rapporteurs (nommes ci-dessous) de chacun
des Groupes de discussions, furent affectes a la seance
pleniere 3. Les sommaires de ces rapports de groupes
sont pre*sentes ci-dessous. L'annexe B de ce compte
rendu contient un rapport plus detaille de ces discus-

Groupe A

Occupation du sol (zones  urbaines/
rurales) et ressources naturelles

Mauricette Steinfelder (France) et
Kazuhiko Takemoto (Japon)

Le groupe A discuta de 1'occupation du sol et les
ressources naturelles. Ces discussions se deroulerent
sous forme de 1) commentaires et reactions aux
informations contenues dans les rapports d'activite
concemant la prospective, 2) reactions aux discussions
de la lere seance concernant les tendances de la
demographic, de la technologic, de 1'economie, de
1'etablissement humain de la science et des valeurs
societales, et 3) identifications des questions
eventuelles concernant 1'occupation du sol et les
ressources naturelles.
   Le groupe s'inte'ressa particulierement aux
consequences de la croissance de la population sur
1'occupation du sol et des ressources naturelles et fit
remarquer qu'il serait difficile de soutenir la
disponibilite et 1'utilisation des ressources dans le
futur, particulierement pour les pays en voie de
developpement. D'autre part, il fut indique que les
tendances de croissance et de developpement
laisseraient les regions cdtieres particulierement
menacees par la degradation de 1'environnement. Le
sentiment e"tait que 1'accroissement de l'urbanisation
causerait p^nurie d'eau et de nourriture et entrainerait
du meme coup une degradation du sol.
   Le groupe souleva plusieurs problemes auxquels
les strateges devaient fake face en ce qui conceme la
prospective d'avenir. Entre autre, ces problemes
concernent la fa
Croissance demographique et

Le groupe discuta de I'idee de la future poussee des
megalopoles, particulierement dans les regions
cdtieres et des problemes croissants d'elimination des
d^chets et d'occupation du sol. D'autres sujets de
discussion concernerent la pression imposee aux
ressources naturelles dans les pays les plus pauvres,
ainsi que les questions de fragmentation sociale,
susceptible de contribuer a des migrations massives
au travers des frontieres nationales.

Limitation des ressources

Les groupes de travail discuterent du risque
d'accroissement des terrains inutilisables dans les
zones rurales du a la salinisation et a la
surexploitation, a la possibilite de conditions
climatiques exceptionnelles (pouvant causer des
famines), la sensibility des marches agricoles aux couts
des transports et a 1'impact des questions
environnementales sur le commerce.

Risques a 1'echelle mondiale

L'un des sujets abordes hit celui de la monte"e
imminente des conflits en ce qui concerne 1'eau douce
et les problemes de contamination des eaux. On parla
egalement beaucoup des conflits regionaux au sujet
des sources d'energie, des pecheries et des terres
agricoles, susceptibles de survenir dans de
nombreuses regions du globe.

Styles de vie

Le groupe mentionna le besoin d'envisager des
changements dans les secteurs de la production et de
la consommation. L'integration de 1'ensemble des
couts d'utilisation des ressources dans 1'etablissement
des prix et une prise de conscience e'cologique de la
part des communautes locales pourraient avoir un
effet positif.

Science et  information

Les membres du groupe predirent plusieurs tendances
dans les domaines de la science et de 1'information
susceptibles d'affecter le vide existant entre la
durabilite et la capacite de charge. Certains membres
penserent qu'ils pouvaient en decouler certains
resultats benefiques telle une meilleure efficacite
eYiergetique et un accroissement de 1'utilisation de
sources d'energie renouvelables.


Le groupe identifia Egalement les indicateurs de
changements positifs dans les tendances d'occupation
du sol et les ressources naturelles dans I'avenir. La
chance de travailler davantage au niveau de la
communaute' et de fonder les prises de decision sur
des preoccupations ecologiques fut notee au cours de
cette discussion. La gestion de I'environnement fut
considered comme 1'un des attributs clSs de I'avenir
pouvant aider a changer les tendances de
consommation. On parla Egalement du role benefique
que pouvaient jouer les femmes grace a une education
scolaire plus accessible.

Groupe B

Sante et repercussions sur

Dr Antonio Navarra (Italic)

Le groupe affecte aux questions de sante et
repercussions sur I'ecologie identifia plusieurs
caracteristiques communes des problemes
environnementaux a 1'echelle mondiale. Tout d'abord,
ces problemes tendent a se propager d'un milieu a un
autre plutot que d'etre confines a un seul (la terre,
1'eau ou 1'air). Deuxiemement, les problemes globaux
concernent a la fois la toxicite et 1'ecotoxicite.
Troisiemement, la correction d'un probleme
environnemental majeur est un travail de longue
haleine et il n'existe pas de solution simple et rapide.
Enfin, les mesures a court et long tennes prises pour
corriger les problemes globaux peuvent souvent £tre
en conflit.
   Le groupe discuta de la difference entre les
problemes de sante et d'ecologie existants et
nouveaux. II reconnut que de gros efforts etaient en
cours pour resoudre les problemes actuels, mais
conclut que les nouveaux problemes interconnectes
devaient etre abordes simultanement. Dans la
categoric des questions de sante connues et averees, le
groupe mentionna les facteurs environnementaux de
troubles endocriniens, la presence de substances
toxiques et 1'utilisation des combustibles fossiles. Les
problemes ecologiques connus abordes inclurent la
pollution oceanique, 1'extraction et 1'utilisation des
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

combustibles fossiles et les deversements de dechets
industriels dans les voies d'eau. Bien que les nouveaux
problemes fussent moins clairement d^finis, le groupe
avanc.a qu'ils relevaient, entre autre, de 1'introduction
d'especes exotiques, de la biologic marine, des effets
catastrophiques des changements climatiques (par
exemple, la secheresse, les inondations, les violents
orages, etc.), de la contamination et de la rarete des
nappes souterraines, et d'une variete de questions
environnementales, telles que la comprehension et la
gestion de la diversity biologique et la decentralisation
des ecosystemes productifs.
   Le groupe avanca que les questions sociopblitiques
susceptibles d'etre associ£es a la sante et aux
repercussions environnementales de 1'avenir
pouvaient conduire h des querelles geopolitiques
causees par la degradation des terres, la pollution de
1'air et la raret^ de 1'eau potable. Les membres
s'accorderent en outre a penser que 1'equite
d'affectation et d'utilisation des ressources naturelles
risquait de causer des tensions. Le groupe parla de
1'acces aux mecanismes de prise de decisions, tant au
niveau national qu'international auxquels on pourrait
peut-etre acceder pour discuter des questions de sante
et d'ecologie afin de les resoudre. Pour terminer, le
groupe fit quelques suggestions concernant les
recherches multidisciplinaires et techniques
analytiques de 1'avenir, telles que la modelisation et
1'analyse quantitative pouvant aider a comprendre les
questions de prospective de 1'avenir.
   Le groupe affecte aux questions de sante et de
repercussions environnementales declara que cette
rencontre etait un excellent debut au niveau de la
discussion et la comprehension des prospectives de
1'avenir et que ces debats etaient a la fois utiles et

Groupe C

Energie, transports et climat

M. Robert  Hull (Union Europeenne)

A Tissue de cette discussion, le groupe s'accorda a
penser que 1'energie, les transports et le climat
planetaire constituaient des facteurs importants et
connexes, dont 1'impact sur 1'environnement de
1'avenir sera considerable. Au cours de ce debat, les
membres se concentrerent sur la probabilite des
evenements futurs, pas necessairement sur leur
caractere desirable ou realisable.
   Dans le domaine de 1'energie, les membres du
groupe C discuterent de leur perception des
tendances d'utilisation de 1'energie, qu'ils
conclurent ne pas etre viables. Les options de
gestion de 1'energie dans le futur abordees par le
groupe furent;
a. 1'intensification de 1'exploitation des combus-
tibles fossiles (avec les augmentations de prix
b. le developpement accru de 1'energie nucleaire;
c. le developpement de sources renouvelables; et/
d. la reduction considerable de la consommation.
   Le groupe conclut que, dans tous les cas, la
reduction de la disponibilite des sources d'energie
serait une cause probable de conflits dans 1'avenir.
   Dans le secteur des transports, les tendances
actuelles vers une mobilite accrue fut egalement
considered par les membres du groupe C, comme
n'etant pas durable. Ce groupe parla egalement du
cout des transports qui representent une grande
part de Teconomie, de la probabilite de
1'accroissement de 1'encombrement au niveau
mondial et des risques associes a 1'introduction
d'especes (et de maladies) exotiques en divers
endroits de la planete. Le groupe conclut qu'en
depit de ces problemes, il faudrait longtemps au
public pour accepter la n^cessite de brider ses
desirs de mobilite accrue.
   Dans le domaine du climat planetaire, les
membres du groupe conclurent que le probleme
etait toujours present et qu'il ne ferait que devenir
plus evident dans Tavenir. Us avancerent qu'il etait
tres improbable que les « solutions »technologiques
actuelles puissent attenuer ces problemes de fac.on
significative. Bien que le groupe reconnut qu'il etait
indeniable que les negociations sur le climat
planetaire devaient etre poursuivies, de nombreux
participants etaient d'avis que la mise en  oeuvre
d'accords internationaux ne suffirait pas a
contrecarrer les tendances actuelles vers un
changement climatique. On discuta egalement de la
necessite pour les gouvemements de passer d'une
strategic de lutte a une strategic d'adaptation.
April, 1997

   Le groupe discuta de la necessity d'une ouverture
d'esprit et d'une cooperation accrues pour traiter ces
problemes efficacement. Les participants soulignerent
en particulier les besoins d'un dialogue public plus
pouss£ et de davantage de transparence au niveau des
prises de decision pour acquerir la confiance publique.
Certains appelerent a la creation et/ou 1'accroissement
de la cooperation des institutions dans des domaines
comme le transfer! de la technologic et 1'amelioration/
la coordination du suivi des indicateurs de
changements environnementaux a 1'echelle mondiale.

Groupe D

Nouvelles technologies

Avrim Lazar (Canada) et
Peter Bogdanov (Russie)

Les participants ne s'attarderent pas dans le detail des
problemes environnementaux de 1'an 2020. Deux
discussions furent plutot lancees : 1'une commenca par
1'observation que le contexte societal, et non pas la
technologic elle-meme, etait la cle de 1'anticipation de
technologies nouvelles qui permettraient
I'amelioration de 1'environnement, puis se termina par
un appel a une conscience economique commune,
aidant a susciter 1'interet pour une application durable
des nouvelles technologies. L'autre discussion partit
du concept de 1'impossibilite d'entrevoir avec
precision les problemes environnementaux et s'acheva
sur une exhortation 
Discussion pleniere de cloture
"Perspectives 2020"

Le matin de la seconde journee de la rencontre, un
rapport des discussions de chacun des Groupes de,
discussions de la 2eme seance fut lu devant 1'ensemble
des participants.
   Un porte-parole de chacun des groupes presenta
certaines des principales questions soulevdes au cours
de la discussion. (Voir le sommaire de la 2eme seance
et 1'annexe 3 pour le detail de ces discussions.)
   Une discussion des questions importantes
soulevees par les groupes suivit, apres laquelle les
participants porterent leur attention sur 1'evaluation
du forum et sur les prochaines etapes de la collabora-
tion internationale en matiere de prospective

Commentaires sur les sujets abordes

Au cours d'une discussion d'ordre general, les partici-
pants emirent des commentaires sur les questions
soulevees par les groupes de la 2eme seance.
   L'un des participants exprima ses inquietudes
concernant 1'avenir des transports mondiaux de deux
points de vue:
1. La forte possibility que les echanges de
marchandises a 1'echelle mondiale conduisent a la
propagation accidentelle de maladies et d'especes
exotiques dans de nouvelles regions, causant un
renversement de 1'opinion publique au sujet de tels
2. Le risque que les enclaves de pauvrete dans le  •
monde susciterait une recrudescence d'activites
illegales (telles que la piraterie) qui ebranleraient le
commerce a un tel point qu'il serait impossible de
couvrir les convois d'une assurance.
   L'un des participants fit remarquer qu'en ce qui
concerne 1'application de la connaissance scientifique
I la prise de decisions dans le domaine des
changements climatiques, il etait essentiel que,
parallelement a la surveillance, il existe une promotion
de la technologic destined a resoudre les problemes.
Outre ia recherche scientifique et la surveillance des
conditions climatiques, nous avons besoin d'une
volonte' et d'un leadership politiques permettant
d'etablir un avenir plus viable. L'un des elements
essentiels pour atteindre cet objectif est 1'integration
des previsions economiques et environnementales.
   L'un des participants avanc.a que lorsqu'une
technologic etait developpee et utilisee, il n'etait pas
facile de la retirer du marche. On remarqua egalement
que le groupe D avait souligne que la technologic
devait etre orientee vers les desirs de la societe et que
des apports de fonds etaient necessaires pour
materialiser la technologic.
   Les participants discuterent de 1'idee que
1'evolution technologique etait dans une certaine
mesure previsible alors que les reactions de la societe
et les consequences ne 1'etaient pas. L'un d'entre eux
suggera que pour inculquer les possibilites reelles de
1'avenir, il fallait des theses plus appuyees sur le futur
dotees d'un haut niveau de  credibilite. Que le grand
public pense ou non que les scenarios du futur sont
vraisemblables, il demeure apathique.
   Les participants explorerent la question du role du
gouvemement au niveau  de sa collaboration avec
1'industrie, les organismes non gouvernementaux et le
public pour la creation d'un avenir durable. Au cours
de cette discussion, plusieurs des participants
encouragerent le groupe a considerer 1'environnement
et le futur de fac.on plus positive et d'imaginer ce
qu'un avenir viable devait etre (c'est a dire de
developper un scenario normatif et de determiner ce
qui pouvait etre fait pour influencer le cours des
evenements dans ce sens).
   Un autre sujet aborde  fut le role des
multinationales et de la concurrence sur le marche
mondial: le processus de globalisation va-t-il causer
des disaccords entre 1'elite et les marginalises ? L'un
des participants suggera que les gouvernements
April, 1997

essayaient de r6soudre les problemes
environnementaux, mais que leur pouvoir n'titait plus
ce qu'il etait autrefois. Dans 1'opinion de certains, les
gouvernements ne dirigent plus mais repondent aux
preoccupations clairement exprimees des
coinmunautes. De ce fait, peut-etre devrait-on se
pr^occuper davantage de deleguer le pouvoir aux
gens dans le but de guider les actions du
gouvemement. Dans le meme etat d'esprit, 1'un des
delegues avanca que 1'industrie devait adopter des
principes d'autoregulation et d'autodiscipline pour
guider le developpement et 1'usage viable de ses
produits. D'autres mentionnerent le besoin de trouver
des incitations economiques pour encourager les
grandes entreprises a maintenir 1'usage de ressources
de remplacement pour la protection de
   L'un des participants nota le besoin pour de
nouvelles institutions et la collaboration des
entreprises si Ton voulait resoudre nombre des
problemes mis en evidence. La necessity de faire la
synthese des resultats obtenus et de les disseminer hit
egalement mentionnee. II hit suggere qu'il serait
extremement utile de mieux organiser la surveillance
Internationale des tendances environnementales.
   La difficulte de trouver des fonds permanents pour
la recherche generate hit mentionnee. L'un des partici-
pants fit remarquer que la poussee des recherches ne
produirait pas toujours des solutions ou des idees
nouvelles. La necessite de se montrer prudent au
niveau de I'institutionnalisation des processus de
contrdle intemationaux, de 1'identif ication des
problemes et de ieur solution fut soulign^e.

Commentaires sur le Forum des
prospectives environnementales

Un certain nombre de participants firent a nouveau
observer que la plupart des discussions s'etant tenues
dans le cadre du Forum etaient assez pessimistes. II
hit recommand£ que les delegues examinent
soigneusement le message a rapporter a leur
gouvernement respectif, afin de s'assurer qu'il
contienne les nombreux aspects positifs des benefices
procures par les enseignements tires des travaux sur
les prospectives d'avenir. Par exemple, les membres
du groupe suggererent qu'il etait essentiel de resumer
la valeur ajoutee de ces travaux, ce qui pourrait les
rendre attrayants aux yeux des gouvernements. La
nature pluridisciplinaire de la discussion  fut
consideree comme etant un point fort. D'autre part,
1'etude des problemes environnementaux conduisit a
parler d'autres secteurs menaces, tels que le com-
merce. II fut avanc6 que 1'une des valeurs ajout£es des
travaux sur les prospectives d'avenir etait que cette
approche proactive, intersectorielle pouvait engendrer
de nouvelles prospectives mettant au dgfi les
paradigmes existants. Un participant observa que
pour assurer 1'efficacite d'un tel processus, celui-ci
devait prendre sa source au niveau de la communaute
et de la conscience locale sans se limiter aux
prospectives gouvernementales et industrielles. II fut
mentionne que certains pays etaient deja lances dans
des recherches extensives sur 1'amelioration de la
capacite de predire 1'avenir.
   Un grand nombre des participants ont exprime
leur conviction selon laquelle il etait necessaire de
plaider pour la mise en oeuvre de davantage de
travaux sur les prospectives d'avenir. Certains
demanderent que le groupe demontre clairement que
le Forum, en remplissant la fonction d'observateur
pour les nouveaux problemes environnementaux de
I'an 2020, ne representait que 1'une des nombreuses
approches utiles de 1'analyse des prospectives
d'avenir. Ceci conduisit a une breve discussion sur les
autres approches, telles que l'etablissement de
scenarios par le biais de la projection et de 1'evaluation
des tendances. Une autre approche fut la definition
d'une strategic soulignant les options de politique de
resolution des problemes deja connus. On parla
egalement de scenarios normatif s permettant de se
faire une idee du futur. Pour finir, la discussion porta
sur les techniques utilisees pour identifier et etudier
les problemes sur lesquels on avait pour 1'instant que
peu de connaissances et les risques inherents. Les
membres du groupe admirent n'etre que tiedes a ce
sujet, attribuant leur scepticisme a une aversion
naturelle pour les surprises. L'un des delegues fit
remarquer que chaque siecle connut des
bouleversements considerables, que de tels
bouleversement se produiraient infailliblement au
cours du siecle nouveau et qu'il faudrait renouveler
notre stock d'idees et preparer un nouvel etat d'esprit.
   Le groupe discuta de 1'audience proposee pour la
presentation des resultats du Forum et des difficultes
qu'il risquait de rencontrer. Certains membres
avancerent que peut-etre, il serait preferable de
chercher audience au-dela des ministres des pays
representes. A titre d'exemple de la difficulte de
passer outre les ministres, d'autres delegues leur
rappelerent de la gageure que constituait le simple fait
d'identifier et de s'accorder sur une question
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

 environnementale qui etait indeniablcment un
 probleme. Quelques personnes souleverent la question
 de definition de cfiteres permettant de mesurer les'
 problemes environnementaux. Comment peut-on tous
 savoir ce qu'est le meilleur environnement pour
 1'avenir ?
    En resume, la grande majorite des participants
 pensaient que le Forum etait un succes et indiquaient
 leur enthousiasme a 1'idee de poursuivre ces discus-


 M. Hansen prEsenta une synthese des discussions du
 Forum de prospective environnementale. Tout
 d'abord, il elabora sur la sagacite de M. Schwartz lors
 de la lere stance concernant la necessite" de considerer
 les indicateurs precoces comme etant des « signaux
 te"nus » de changements importants. II suggera que
 1'objectif des travaux de prospective en
 environnement n'etait pas de predire 1'avenir avec
 precision, mais de reconnaitre les avantages de la
 reaction face aux indicateurs precoces de changement
 en considerant les possibilites. Le but est d'elargir
 notre fa^on de penser actuelle afin d'etre plus aptes a
 fagonner 1'avenir et mieux prepares a le confronter,
 quoi qu'il nous reserve.
    M. Hansen fit ensuite un resume des discussions
 du Forum de prospective environnementale en
 soulignant la perspicacity de plusieurs participants au
 sujet des facteurs cles des changements a venir et de
 certaines de leurs eventuelles repercussions sur
 l'environnement. II rappela aux participants que la
 lere seance avait eu pour sujet les principaux elements
 des changements futurs tels que la technologic, la
 science, 1'Economie, 1'etablissement humain, les
 attitudes societales et la demographic. Grace a des
 presentations par un groupe d'experts internationaux
 dans ces domaines, les participants a la rencontre
 avaient eu 1'occasion d'echanger leurs points de vue
 sur des sujets spEcifiques tels que la consommation
 d'energie, les tendances d'utilisation des moyens de
 transport et le rapport entre les complexes
 mouvements demographiques et 1'impact ecologique
 tant sur les regions urbaines que rurales. Une
 evaluation plus approfondie de la puissance de ces
 facteurs de changement suggera aux participants les
 avantages a mieux pouvoir anticiper les changements
 ecologiques avant que les problemes nouveaux ne
 fassent 1'objet de prises de decisions politiques
urgentes. Les participants discuterent egalement de
techniques, telles que I'analyse intersectorielle,
permettant de mieux comprendre 1'interaction
complexe des forces faconnant les defis
environnementaux du futur.
   La 2eme seance consista en un ^change de points
de vue, au cours de petites discussions de groupe
concernant les « problemes nouveaux » susceptibles
de deiinir les problemes de protection de
I'environnement de 1'an 2020 dans les domaines de
1'occupation du sol et des ressources naturelles, de la
santE et des repercussions ecologiques, de l'e"nergie,
des transports, des changements climatiques globaux
et des nouvelles technologies. Au cours de ces discus-
sions, plusieurs questions furent identifiees comme
Etant parmi les problemes nouveaux pour 1'avenir et
requerant une analyse et une attention plus poussEes.
Ces points comprenaient la diversite biologique, les
interactions complexes & 1'interieur des ecosystemes et
entre eux, les changements significatif s de
I'environnement oceanique, les impacts Ecologiques de
la disparite entre les riches et les pauvres et le
potentiel de developperhent de nouvelles technologies
au soutien de la durability.
   Enfin, la 3eme seance porta sur les mesures
destinees a anticiper et a faire face aux impacts
environnementaux, telles que la recherche scientifique
(fondamentale et applique"e), la collaboration
(bilaterale et multilaterale), le controle des indicateurs
environnementaux et des indices de changements plus
generaux, ainsi que les changements au niveau des
gouvernements et des structures institutionnelle et
sociale. M. Hansen utilisa la construction d'une route
comme analogic pour illustrer les benefices eventuels
d'un travail cooperatif sur les questions d'avenir. Une
telle route pourrait etre utilisee par les strateges
Ecologiques comme voie d'acces aux problemes
environnementaux de 1'avenir sans aucune prescrip-
tion de point de vue ou de fai;oh d'aborder ces
   Remarquant que plusieurs des participants avaient
emis des commentaires sur 1'utilitE d'un dialogue
multilateral sur les prospectives environnementales,
M. Hansen acheva son sommaire en presentant
plusieurs idees pour les prochaines etapes de ce
processus de collaboration. A la suite d'une discussion
de ces idees et d'un echange de points de vue sur les
avantages d'une collaboration internationale aux
travaux de prospectives environnementales, les
.April, 1997

participants identifierent cinq etapes sp^cifiques :

La preparation du compte rendu de la rencontre : il
fut convenu que cette compilation des discussions du
Forum de prospective en environnement devait etre
prepared afin de pouvoir £tre etudiee plus a fond par
les participants et autres parties concernees.

Des rapports officieux aux gouvemements: plusieurs
delegations exprimerent leur intention de
communiquer les resultats du Forum a leur
gouvernement et de f oumir des rapports aux
ministres de I'environnement.

Travaux du comite directeur: il fut convenu que le
comite directeur international ayant prepare le
programme du Forum continuerait son travail.
L'objectif immediat de ce comite' directeur est
d'obtenir la revue et 1'approbation du compte rendu
de la rencontre et des prochaines etapes des travaux
en collaboration des huit pays representes au Forum,
de la Commission europeenne et des autres parties
concernees, sur les prospectives d'environnement.

Collaboration bilaterale/multilaterale aux travaux de
prospective en environnement: il fut convenu que les
meilleurs resultats seraient obtenus par la collabora-
tion de pays partageant un intent commun pour un
sujet ou une activite particuliere. Plusieurs occasions
de cooperation bilaterale ou multilateral aux travaux
de prospectives de renvironnement furent identifiees
par les participants au cours de la rencontre.

Rencontres Internationales sur la prospective en
environnement: les participants discuterent de
1'eVentualite d'une autre rencontre sur la prospective
en environnement au cours de 1'annee civile 1997. Le
comite directeur fut charge d'etudier la structure et le
programme d'une telle rencontre.

M. Hansen remercia les delegues de leur participation,
leur souhaita un bon retour chez eux et clotura la
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings


15hOO-l7hOO   Reunion du Comite directeur (Entree:
            . C Street, Departement d'Etat des
18hOO-20hOO   Reception (Ambassade de la
             Republique federale d'Allemagne,
             4645 Reservoir Road)

Formalites d'inscription: (Entree: C
Street, Departement d'Etat des Etats-
• Souhaits de bienvenue et remarques

Fred Hansen, Administrateur adjoint
Agence pour la protection de
I'environnement des Etats-Unis

Hauts fonctionnaires de

9h30-12hOO    Seance pteniere du matin: debats:
             "Technologic, societe' et
             environnement en 2020"
• Allocutions sur les methodologies de la prospective,
par Peter Schwartz, President de Global Business
Network ("Roseau commercial mondial"). M.
Schwartz s'inspirera de son experience en montrant
comment se servir des methodologies de la prospec-
tive pour prevoir 1'evolution & venir pour les clients
des secteurs public et prive, au niveau mondial.
• Debats pleniers sur les consequences de 1'evolution
scientifique, technologique et economique sur
renvironnement, en 2020. Des experts commenteront
les tendances qui se degagent dans le domaine des
sciences fondamentales, les progres technologiques et
1'^conomie afin d'amorcer les debats g£n£raux sur
leurs consequences eVentuelles pour I'environnement.
Parrni les experts figureront Shuzo Nishioka (science),
Esther Dyson (technologic) et Christian Stoffaes

• Debats pleniers sur les consequences de Involution
demographique, des etablissements humains et des
attitudes sociales, sur l'environnement en 2020. Des
experts commenteront les tendances qui se degagent
dans le domaine de~mographique, les etablissements
humains et les attitudes societies, en vue d'amorcer
les debats entre tous les participants sur les
consequences eVentuelles de ces tendances. Parmi les
experts figureront Arlene Gelbard (demographie),
Peter Calthorpe (etablissements humains) et
Raimondo Boggia (attitudes soci&ales).


12hOO-lh30    Academic nationale des sciences
13h30-17hOO   Reunions simultanees de I'apres-
             midi: "Problemes concernant
             I'environnement en 2020"
• Reunions en quatre groupes, centrees sur les
problemes de I'environnement. Quatre groupes, de 10
a 12 experts de pays, participent & des equipes
d'observation sous la conduite d'un aliimateur en vue
d'examiner les nouveaux problemes concernant
renvironnement, susceptibles de se  poser aux pays du
G-7 en 2020. Chaque groupe se verra attribuer un
theme initial, comme 1'indique ce qui suit:

Groupe A:    Exploitation du sol (urbain/rural) et
             ressources naturelles (francais/
Groupe B:     Consequences pour Ideologic et la
             sante publique (francais/anglais)
Groupe C:     Energie/Transports/changements
             climatiques (francais/anglais)
Groupe D:    Technologies nouvelles (anglais
April, 1997

Les groupes de discussion regarderont "au-dela de
1'horizon" a 1'aide de deux outils: les problemes de
renvironnement tii£s des rapports par pays et les
tendances critiques identifiers au cours de la Seance
   Une liste des problemes concernant
renvironnement, signales dans les rapports par pays
et dont un grand nombre decrit revolution possible
des conditions actuelles au cours des 25 ans a venir, a
£t£ preparee pour chacun des groupes, en soulignant
les problemes particulierement pertinents pour chaque
sujet. Chaque groupe, cependant, est libre de debattre
tout probleme sur la liste ou tout nouveau probleme
susceptible d'emerger au cours des debats. Les partici-
pants sont pries d'examiner la liste avant le Forum et
d'identifier les questions qui seraient le plus a meme
de produire des entretiens fructueux.
   Des coordinateurs aideront chaque groupe a
dresser une liste d'une page sur les reflexions plus
significatives qui se sont degagees au cours des
debats, notamment les approches creatrices de
renvironnement permettant de repondre aux defis
lances par le vingt-et-unieme siecle. L'un des membres
du comite d'organisation, ou plusieurs, fera un
rapport a la session pleniere sur les resultats obtenus
par chaque groupe de discussion.

18hOO-20hOO   Reception (Ambassade du Canada,
501           Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.)


9hOO-12hOO    D£bats pleniers du matin:
              "Reflexions sur 1'an 2020"

• Exposes par les groupes, suivis de debats. Chacun
des groupes de la Seance No. 2 fera un bref expos£ sur
les reflexions les plus importantes et les plus
significatives degagees au cours de ses debats, suivi
d'une periode de questions-reponses. Les participants
en examineront alors les repercussions sur les prises
de decision actuelles sur renvironnement.
• Prochaines Stapes
• Allocution de cloture
   Fred Hansen, Administrateur adjoint Agence pour
la protection de 1'environnement des Etats-Unis
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Participant List
Ms. Yaprak Baltacioglu
       Director General, Strategic Direction & Policy
       Coordination, Environment Canada
Mr. David Grimes
       Director General, Policy, Program and
       International Affairs, Atmospheric
       Environment Service, Environment Canada

Dr. Margaret M. Hill
       Senior Policy Advisor, Strategic Direction and
       Policy Coordination, Environment Canada
Mr. Avrim Lazar
       Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and
       Communications, Environment Canada
Dr. Harvey Lerer
       Special Advisor, Policy & Communications,
       Environment Canada
Ms. Anne Mitchell
       Executive Director, Canadian Institute for
       Environmental Law &  Policy
Prof. W. Bruce Mitchell
       Department of Geography, University of
       Waterloo, Ontario
Dr. John B. Robinson
       Director, Sustainable Development Research
Ms. Deborah Turnbull
       President, Agrodev Canada Inc., Chair,
       Research and Development Advisory Board,
       Environment Canada

Mr. William Floyd
       Assistant to the Director General, Forward
       Studies Unit
Mr. Robert Hull
       Head of Unit for Policy Coordination, Director
       ate General for the Environment, Nuclear . .
       Safety and Civil Protection
Mr. Gerard Keijzers
       Director of Strategic Planning, Ministry of the
       Environment of The Netherlands
Mr. Andrew Sors
       Head of the Unit for Socio-Economic
       Environmental Research

Mr. Christian Brodhag
       Chairman of the French Commission for
       Sustainable Development
Ms. Dominique Dron
       Head of the Futures and Strategy Unit,
       Ministry of Environment
Ms. Mauricette Steinfelder
       Deputy Head of the Department for
       International Affairs Ministry of the
Mr. Jacques Theys
       Scientific Director of the French
       Environmental Health Institute

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Franz Huttl
       Professor  University of Bayreuth

Ms. Ursula Mumpro
       Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature
       Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Diplomate)

Prof. Dr. Ing. E. Kurt Oeser
       Professor  Honorable of the University Fulda

Prof. Dr. Meinhard Schulz-Baldes
       Professor  of the University of Bremen,
       Director of the Scientific Advisory Council on
       Global  Change .
Dr. Andreas Troge
       President  of the Federal Environmental
       Agency, Head of German Delegation
April, 1997

Mr. Valerio Astraldi
       Diplomatic Counsellor to the Minster,
       Ministry of Environment
Dr. Corrado Clini
       Director General, Ministry of Environment
Mr. Domenico Gaudioso
       Environment Department, ENEA
Dr. Antonio Navarra
       Researcher, CNR

Mr. Shinichi Hosono
       Embassy Staff, Embassy of Japan in
Mr. Takaaki Moroto
       Chairman, Task Force on Trade and
       Environment, Federation of Economic
Dr. Shuzo Nishioka
       Director, Global Environmental Research
       Division, National Institute for Environmental
Mr. Osamu Takasawa
       Director for Earth Science and Technology,
       Science and Technology Agency
Mr. Kazuhiko Takemoto
       Senior Advisor to Director General, Global
       Environment Department, Environment
Mr. Toshiaki Tanabe
       Ambassador for Global Environment Issues,
Mr. Satoshi Tanaka
       First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in

Mr. Peter Bogdanov
       Director of International Cooperation
       Department, State Committee of the Russian
       Federation on Environmental Protection
Prof. Kim Losev
       Professor, Moscow State University
Ms. Olga Ponizova
       Executive Director of NGO "Eco-ACCORD"

Dr. Alan Apling
       Head of the Office of the Chief Scientist,
       Department of the Environment
Mr. David Lewis
       Secretary to the Royal Commission on
       Environmental Pollution
Prof. R. Kerry Turner
       Director of the Centre for Social & Economic
       Research on the Global Environment
       (CSERGE), University of East Anglia &
       University College, London

Mr. Christopher Whaley
       Counsellor for Science, Technology, Energy
       and Environment, British Embassy,
       Washington, D.C.

Ms. Frances Beinecke
       Associate Director of the Natural Resources
       Defense Council
Mr. David Gardiner
       Assistant Administrator, Office of
       PolicyXPlanning and Evaluation, U.S.
       Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
Mr. Fred Hansen
       Deputy Administrator, USEPA
Dr. Genevieve M. Matanoski
       Professor of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins
       University, Chair of USEPA Science Advisory
Mr. William Nitze
       Assistant Administrator, Office of
       International Activities, USEPA
Mr. Robert B. Shapiro
       Chairman and President, Chief Executive
       Officer, Monsanto Company
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Mr. Raimondo Boggia
       President & CEO, Alchera Strategic Vision,
       Network Member- Global Business Network
Mr. Peter Calthorpe
       Calthorpe Associates
Ms. Esther Dyson
       President, EDVenture Holdings
Dr. Alene Gelbard
       Director of International Programs, Population
       Reference Bureau, Inc.
Mr. Peter Schwartz
       President Global Business Network
Dr. Shuzo Nishioka
       Director, Global Environmental Research
       Division, National Institute for Environmental
Mr. Christian Stoffaes
       Executive Vice President, Electricite de France
April, 1997

Detailed Reports of
Session 2
Group Discussions
Work Group A
Land Use and Natural Resources
       Mauricette Steinfelder (France) and
       Kazuhiko Takemoto (Japan)
       Valerio Astraldi (Italy),
       Yaprak Baltacioglu (Canada),
       Frances Beinecke (United States),
       William Floyd (European Commission),
       Reinhard Franz Hiittl (Germany),
       David Lewis (United, Kingdom),
       Takaaki Moroto (Japan),
       Deborah Turnbull (Canada)
       Michael Lesnick
       James Morant

Summary of Discussion
Work Group A focused on environmental futures
primarily, but not exclusively, from a perspective of
land use and natural resources. The group first
discussed individuals' key reactions to the morning's
presentations, as well as the country reports. Next,
they identified emerging issues within a framework
that highlighted key gaps between sustainability and
strains on the earth's carrying capacity.

Key Reactions
Work group members emphasized  the land use and
natural resource implications of the presentations and
country reports, but did not limit themselves to that
orientation only.
   In the area of population, group members took
particular note of the range of current demographic
projections and identified five areas of special atten-
• How do we plan for the anticipated population
growth (one billion in the developed world, five
billion in the developing world) from an environmen-
tal perspective?
• Given the expected population increases, the
world's economies may not be able to support future
resource use, particularly that which may be de-
manded by the economies of developing countries.
• Given the possibility that the global economy may
not be able to support future resource use and avail-
ability, how can we better assess the future needs in
each sector.
• Anticipated growth and development will strain the
environment, especially in coastal areas of the world.
• Increasing urbanization will continue to affect food
and water supplies, and the quality of arable land.
   In  the area of information technology, the group
noted that:
• There are likely to be barriers to the transfer of
information between countries and regions of the
world due to legal, technical and cultural challenges.
This may negatively impact such technological oppor-
tunities such as telemedicine.
• Long term population growth projections may
negatively affect future investments in science regard-
ing critically important areas such as ecosystem
   In  discussing policy development, the work group
discussion focused on five areas:
• the need to identify and address potential critical
• the lack of accountability regarding who is respon-
sible for thinking about environmental futures;
• how to most effectively interact with senior manag-
ers and help them become more aware of likely
environmental futures;
• how to involve developing countries in environmen-
tal futures work;
• whether sustainability can be "afforded" by all
countries and how to effectively pursue sustainability

Critical Emerging Issues
The work group next turned its attention to critical
emerging issues, focusing particularly on those related
to land use and natural resources. The group dis-
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

cussed a conceptual framework to help guide this
discussion which was readily adopted by work group
members. In essence, this framework illustrated the
gap between the trend of increasing resource use,
projected from current levels against estimates of
sustainable levels. Work group members noted that
their discussion was intended to focus on identifying
the issues that were likely to affect this gap either
positively or negatively.
 Resource Use
                           strains on the Earth's
                               carrying capacity
2025  Time
   This very vibrant discussion focused oh five broad

Population Growth and Development
The group noted that megacities (especially in coastal
areas) and their implications would likely be a signifi-
cant component of the environmental future. Associ-
ated problems of waste disposal and land use, due to
the increasing size and density of populations, and the
demand for construction materials, were considered
likely to have significant negative impacts. In addi-
tion, urban sprawl and transportation may have
negative land use impacts in most countries. In a
somewhat related trend, an aging population, espe-
cially in developed countries, would increase land use
pressure as these individuals seek to settle in more
rural communities, buying up previously natural or
agricultural lands. Coastal areas were identified as
regions of particular concern due to water and land
degradation, human settlement patterns, and impacts
on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems which could also
affect food consumption, especially in developing
   Given the projected population and economic
development patterns anticipated out to the year 2025,
the work group indicated that there would be  more
pressure on the natural resources of poorer countries,
and that the trend of global free trade would probably
accelerate some of these impacts.
   Work group participants indicated that population
growth and increasing urbanization may lead to more
social fragmentation with individuals' allegiance and
identity less likely to be linked to national identity.
Other factors such as religion, ethnicity, social class,
and race, may increasingly define group identity
which will make governing and public policy deci-
sion-making more challenging with respect to envi-
ronmental, social, economic and other issues. The
group also noted that the potential for mass migration
across national borders (potentially due to the need for
food, water, energy or due to localized conflicts) may
present new challenges for environmental manage-
ment as well as the potential for regional conflicts.
   A potential positive trend the group noted was the
possible stabilization of population growth due to
greater education and economic opportunities, espe-
cially for women.

Resource Limitations
Work group members identified four possible trends
regarding resource limitation to the year 2025. These
included: the potential for an increase in wastelands in
agricultural areas due to salinization and overuse; the
prediction of extreme weather events, especially
drought which may lead to food crises either region-
ally or globally depending upon location; the potential
capacity of agricultural markets to become sensitive to
transport costs; and the possibility of environment
becoming a condition of trade since environmental
rules can be claimed in the  World Trade Organization.

Global Risks
Work group members identified several areas of
potential emerging global risks that could impact land
use and natural resources.  Several members noted the
high potential for increasing conflicts over  freshwater
and water contamination (including oceans) in the
next 25 year period. They indicated that regional
conflicts over energy sources, fisheries, and agricul-
tural lands could also take place in many regions of
the world. Participants also pointed to a concern for
the significant loss of habitats and species (plants,
animals and fish) within this period.  The group
discussed the implications of CO2 increases and many
of the potential implications such as rising  ocean
April, 1997

levels. They also identified a concern with the un-
known impacts of ocean circulation changes and
climate changes. As noted earlier, negative impacts on
coastal areas, on a global level, were noted as a
potential trend over the next 25 year period. Finally,
the work group identified trends regarding persistent
substances as an area which might contribute to the
gap between sustainability and the strain on the
earth's carrying capacity.

Lifestyles: Production and
Consumption Patterns
In addressing this area the work group indicated that
there were several cross-cutting issues involving
production and consumption that would likely affect
land use and natural resources as well as other aspects
of human health and environment over the next 25
years. Overall, members of the group indicated that to
move the sustainability curve up (closer to the carry-
ing capacity), a change in production and consump-
tion patterns would be required. The group wondered
whether rapidly developing economies would mimic
the patterns of the developed countries, which could
very well accentuate the challenges, or find new
patterns. Several work group members pointed out
that integrating the full costs of resource use in
pricing, and greater involvement of local communities
in decision-making processes could have a beneficial
effect over the long term. Some participants pointed
out that developing countries may place pressure on
developed countries to: develop natural resources to
meet their economic needs; provide technological
developments at low or no cost that are beneficial to
human health and the environment to offset the
impacts of development; and assert the need for
alternative paths to development different than
commonly held policy directions proposed by devel-
oped countries. Finally, the work group noted that the
business community should become more involved in
promoting sustainability and become more respon-
sible for activities to increase sustainability.

Science and Information
Work group members foresaw several trends that
might affect the gap between sustainability and
carrying capacity related to science and information.
Some members indicated that there may be a positive
effect of increased energy efficiency in the future with
the greater use of renewable energy sources. Several
group members believed that science would need to
become a more integral aspect of environmental
decision-making, but also that science would need to
become more understandable. The work group
indicated that there was a need for more research on
fundamental methods and that it would be useful to
integrate the principle of caution in decision-making.

Suggested Next Steps
Work group members developed two basic consensus
suggestions for consideration by the full plenary:
1. Delegates will report to their environment ministers
on the results of the Environmental Futures Forum to
their meeting in Miami and to the heads of state
meeting in Denver.
2. Each participant, on an individual basis (whether
they are government experts, NGOs, or from the
private sector), should proceed on environmental
futures issues at his/her own level.
   The work group also outlined different options for
possible follow up which would be offered to the
1. Build upon international organizations for further
work in their respective field of expertise (e.g., OECD,
UNEP, CSD, Climate Change Convention Secretariat).
2. Organize another forum next year.
3. Further cooperation among the scientific commu-
4. Bilateral and/or regional cooperation.

Work Group B
Ecological and Health Effects
       Antonio Navarra (Italy)
       Alan Apling (United Kingdom),
       Gerard Keijzers (European Commission),
       Kim Losev (Russia),
       Genevieve Matanoski (United States),
       Anne Mitchell (Canada),
       Olga Ponizova (Russia),
       Satoshi Tanaka (Japan),
       Jacques Theys (France), and
       Andreas Troge (Germany).
       Abby Dilley
       Timothy Titus
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Objectives of the Session
The discussion began with a round of introductions.
The group then reviewed the objectives for the ses-
sion, which included:
1. Discussion of key trends, issues, and factors in the
future. (Drawing from the country reports, the
morning panel presentations, and any other ideas.)
2. Identification of three to five key insights concern-
ing future environmental impacts.  (Organized for
presentation to the full group in Session #3 the follow-
ing morning.)
   The group used five questions or topics to organize
its discussion:
1. What trends or issues are most important or will
have the greatest impact?
2. What are the key environmental impacts in the
future (ecological and health)?
3. What indices should be used to measure environ-
mental impacts?
4. What methodologies could be used to address these
5. Comments and suggestions on Futures Methodol-
   Participants noted that this group has a much
broader scope than the others, as ecological and health
impacts cover the whole range of impacts. Acknowl-
edging the overlap, it was determined that the group
would proceed with first listing issues they thought
were important and then discussing the key issues in
more detail.

Trends and Issues
The following trends and issues were identified by the
1. Impact of biotechnology and genetics, including the
introduction of exotic species
2. New pathology of viruses
3. Synergistic effects of toxic chemicals
4. Dramatic effects of climate change (e.g., floods and
5. Conflicts over resources and competition due to
resource scarcity
6. Environmental terrorism
7. Control of complex technical systems
8. Manufacturing and use of special materials like
heavy metals and new technologies
9. Impact of knowledge and information on science
10. Governments' weakness to enforce national and
international laws
11. Ocean biology
12. Toxics and endocrine disrupters
13. Impact on health of new technologies
(e.g., computers, radio telephones, etc.)
14. Destruction of biota and subsequent impact on
ecosystems and the human genome
15. Persistent organic pollutants
16. Continued use of fossil fuels
17. Equity issues (i.e., poverty is an environmental
and health issue)
18. Accountability of transnational corporations
19. Degradation of water supplies
20. Aging population
21. Light and noise pollution
22. High consumption life-style and generation of

Discussion of Trends and Issues List
Oceans: The oceans issue was considered to be very
important, given that the interference in large systems
is having a big impact. The group acknowledged that
there is a failure to act on available  information and
that this resource is being vastly disturbed. We need to
understand all levels of the ecology and deal with the
problem of the commons.
Technology: Technology issues were also thought to
be very important. New technologies may have an
impact on human health and ecology, but some stated
that we do not know the extent of the impact, such as
with the use of cellular phones. Participants discussed
the negative impacts of information technology
changes in the form of psychological pollution from
information overload. With more than one thousand
times the information than one can  absorb currently
available, it was agreed that information pollution will
have an impact in the year 2020.
Destruction of Natural Biota: The group summarized
that the destruction of natural biota is having an effect
on people. Recent studies of net primary production
confirm a 1980 Russian study. Humans use energy to
April, 1997

create an artificial environment, thereby, destroying
the natural environment, which ultimately has de-
structive effects on the genome. Members of the
group stated that the problem is political and affects
future generations, highlighting the need to prioritize
preserving biodiversity.
Energy Use: There are two overarching factors per-
taining to energy that cause major environmental
problems: 1) over-use of fossil fuels, and 2) the quest
for greater agricultural productivity. One participant
outlined that higher incomes lead to greater use of
fossil fuels, increased economic productivity, and
greater demand for agricultural productivity. There-
fore, we have to use our economy for creating sustain-
able energy sources that will also affect agriculture.
The group offered the following analysis. If we look
at energy use as a function of biota size, we see that
small organisms use 90% of the energy; medium-sized
use 9%; and large organisms use just 1%. Then, if we
look at ice cap core samples for the last 100 years, we
see that CO2 production was low until about 1900
when it markedly increased. This suggests that in the
late industrial revolution, larger biota (humans) over-
used their share of energy. One participant surmised
that excess energy is used only to destroy the environ-
ment. It was mentioned that if one considers the
population of a species that can be supported as a
function of the size of the organism, then humans are
outside of the envelope; they are making too great a
demand on the system.
Persistent Chemicals: Generally, the group discussed
that more food leads to more pesticides. New plants
which are resistant to disease and pesticides are
coming on the market. There are no studies to exam-
ine how these new plants affect the environment.
Water: Members of the group believed that we have
inadequately addressed water supply issues, with
more people becoming susceptible to water-borne
Aging and Susceptible Populations: The group
summarized that the aging population will create a
different pattern of susceptibility and health effects.
The poor and the old will become the most susceptible
populations.  This issue emphasizes that equity is an
environmental and health concern.
Noise and Light Pollution: Participants noted that we
will have to learn more about the impact of stimuli
like noise and light on the ecosystem and human
Organic Pollutants: The group suggested that organic
pollutants should be studied to examine their poten-
tial to overload the biosphere.

Future Environmental Impacts
There are two generations of problems: those that are
being addressed and will have less impact in the
future, and those that we are currently aware of and
just beginning to understand and address. The group
determined that it is difficult to clearly separate
current and future ecological and health impacts.
Nonetheless, the group tried to focus more on future
issues and challenges.
   We have not solved all the problems of the first
cycle, e.g., fossil fuels and biodiversity. It was stated
that we need to manage biodiversity, not just protect
it. Biodiversity is a dynamic condition, and practices
such as overfishing of oceans, and road-building
disrupt biodiversity. The group posed several ques-
tions, such as how do we balance it the cyclical nature
of species viability? How do we manage the
biodiversity we have? What biodiversity do we need?
Some participants felt that we will have to maintain
biodiversity by artificial means.
   The group discussed how problems we are just
beginning to understand and address will have an
impact on different populations that have differing
degrees of susceptibility. It was observed that our
increasing knowledge of genetics and the genome will
allow us to identify individual susceptibility. Perhaps
we are moving toward each individual having his
own protective environment. It was stated that this is
the end of the cancer era. Now there are new
intergenerational effects that are hard to measure, like
hormone disrupters. In the future we will be able to
characterize individuals by genetic type, on a suscepti-
bility basis. How are we going to deal with that?
   Members of the group relayed that new biologic
problems also will be important, such as invasions of
new viruses. We must also look at  the effects of non-
ionizing radiation, new devices, and the weakening of
the immune system. The effects of non-ionizing
radiation are uncertain but pose a potentially large
problem. We introduce new technologies without
knowing what they will do.

Indices or Criteria to Measure  Impact
Criteria for new environmental problems were sug-
gested and discussed, such as:
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

1) cross-media effects,
2) toxic effects,
3) the amount of resources needed to produce some-
4) the need for time to interrupt activity in order to
solve the problem,
5) the increasing costs to communicate, and;
6) An additional suggestion for determining impact
was the effect on future generations.

Methodologies to Address Impacts
The group emphasized that technology is not the only
answer to address impacts; we can use quantitative
techniques for analysis as well as simulation. It was
recommended that all of these techniques be used.
Climate, for example, is a driver, but it is subject to
huge variations. Thus, we need to look at long-term
impacts. We cannot generate precise scenarios, but we
can identify processes that work. Mathematical
simulation models can be used to make probabilistic
statements. The group recommended that future
research should be multi-disciplinary to address these
very complex issues.

Comments Concerning Futures
Some stated that the futures process does not revolve
around what was discussed in the breakout session.
These issues are very important but they are not all
drivers. The group thought that these types of ses-
sions, bringing together people from multiple disci-
plines to discuss future issues, are constructive and
should be continued.

Work Group C
Energy/TransportatiorVCIimate Change
       Robert Hull (European Commission),
       Dominique Dron (France),
       Meinhard Schulz-Baldes (Germany)
       David Gardiner (United States),
       Domenico Gaudioso (Italy),
       David Grimes (Canada),
       W. Bruce Mitchell (Canada),
       Shuzo Nishioka (Japan),
       Christian Stoffaes (panelist),
       Toshiaki Tanabe (Japan), and
       Christopher Whaley (United Kingdom)
       Christine Pendzich
       Don Barnes (United States) and
       Marilyn Katz (United States)

Objectives of the Session
The group agreed that the purpose of its discussions
was to develop insights about likely developments
over the next 25 years in the areas of energy, transpor-
tation, and global climate change.

The group, by and large, agreed that current trends of
energy use are not sustainable. An important part of
the group's discussion of energy issues touched on the
possible future role of nuclear power. One participant
raised the question of whether increased demands for
energy—whether from transportation or elsewhere—
would push the world towards increased use of
nuclear energy. The alternatives to nuclear power use
include coal, renewables (the effectiveness of which
was questioned by some), or reduced consumption.
The G-7 countries in particular may need to face this
choice very directly quite soon.

A large part of the discussion centered on the group's
concerns with trends in the  transportation area.
Participants shared a conviction that the desire and
need for greater mobility is  likely to continue growing
through 2020, although more widespread use of the
Internet may mitigate this increase to some extent.
This trend can hold increasingly negative conse-
quences for energy demand and for the global climate.
For example, one participant suggested that by 2020
there will be a three-fold increase in transportation
worldwide, and that it will be 20% more efficient.
However, increased efficiency will not be sufficient to
meet the demand.  Significant oil production will be
limited to the Middle East.  What are the implications
of such a scenario? Some participants pointed to the
current availability of clean transportation technolo-
gies as part of a solution, but others expressed concern
that markets  do hot do a good job of pricing commodi-
ties (e.g., oil) into the future. New technologies might
April, 1997

therefore be scientifically and technically available,
but may be too costly or simply too unfamiliar for
widespread use. Therefore, technology transfer is
   The group also pointed to important differences in
the way that mobility demand will grow and be
managed in different parts of the world. Developing
countries will most likely encounter a rapidly growing
demand for mobility, which they may meet with old
and highly polluting technologies (especially cars).
Recognition of this point led to a discussion of the
need for improved international mechanisms for the
transfer of environmentally friendly technologies,
especially between developed and developing coun-
tries. Even in the absence of environmental concerns, it
will be impossible to "reproduce Los Angeles"
throughout the developed and/or developing world,
due to limitations of capital, space, and material.

Climate Change
Group members expressed repeated concern that
meeting the targets set out in climate change agree-
ments will be delayed.  However, it was also sug-
gested several times that even now (and certainly by
2010), the evidence of climate change will be so strong
that the countries of the world will willingly do more
on mitigation and will be forced to take steps in
adaptation, as well.  Several group members ex-
pressed concern that countries around the world will
fail to reach agreements on how climate change issues
should be addressed. Others in the group felt that
agreements will be reached, but that they will be
inadequate to resolve the problems generated by
climate change.

The group devoted a considerable amount of time to
the discussion of issues that cut across all three areas
of energy, climate change and transportation.  The key
cross-cutting issues discussed included the following:
   Need for continued collection, analysis, and
sharing of environmental data. Cuts in budgets in
developed countries that support monitoring activities
throughout the world threaten our ability to track
trends and spot "surprise" effectively.  This in turn,
reduces the credibility of calls for international action
by developed countries to address environmental
problems. Also, we need to do a better job of using
and sharing the data that are currently being collected
in order to demonstrate the benefits of continued
   Need to rethink and revise institutions at several
levels. At one level, consumption levels in the G-7
countries need to be analyzed and possibly chal-
lenged.  At another level, restructuring work institu-
tions can have major impacts on areas such as trans-
portation. If workers are allowed to stagger their
hours more, for example, the demand for transport
systems can be spread out more over the day, provid-
ing more efficient use of infrastructure. Technology
transfer must be accompanied by institutional evolu-

   Finally, the group repeatedly returned to the need
for new types of institutions for developing environ-
mental information and policy. More flexible and
adaptive institutions, capable of responding quickly
and creatively to change—and especially to surprises
—must be set in place. The inadequacy of current
institutions to address these problems must be recog-
   Need to careful consider social science aspects of
the future. At the root of environmental protection
are individual, moral, ethical, and religious issues.
Institutions need to tap into these issues at this level if
public support and changed behaviors are to be the
result. This may involve changes in the definition of
success; e.g., changes from emphasis on acquisition of
and consumption of things to the acquisition and use
of knowledge. In order to reach these levels, institu-
tions need to structure the way they involve the
people in the decision-making and policy-making
process. Absent such changes, there is the possibility
that the long-held public support for the environment
could disappear.
   Feasible, desirable and likely scenarios. Regard-
ing methodology, one participant pointed out that
thinking about the future can take place through
developing three different types of scenarios and
playing out their implications. The three types of
scenarios are the feasible, the desirable, and the likely
futures. The participant suggested that a great deal of
forecasting effort is typically spent on projecting likely
futures, to the detriment of thinking through what
would be desirable and feasible. Desirable and
feasible scenarios need to be given more attention,
   The difficulty of thinking the unthinkable. A
number of participants observed how the group was
having trouble breaking free from the conventional
"foresighted thinking" of today. This illustrated for
them the importance of a continued, conscious,
coordinated effort to look "beyond the horizon".
           G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Enumeration of Points of Discussion
The following list of issues touched upon during the
course of the session provides another perspective of
the richness of the discussion:
1. Transportation demand increases may not be met
by increases in transportation efficiencies.
2. Technological "answers" may not always work.
3. There is a need for changes in institutions in order
to deal with these problems effectively.
4. Will energy demands drive us towards coal or
towards nuclear power?
5. There is greater flexibility in the use of energy in the
production sector of the economy rather than in the
transportation sector.  What are the consequences?
6. The inadequacy of current institutions to address
these problems must be recognized.
7. The importance of the Internet.
8. Note the difference in uncertainties among the
various predictions.
9. Technological change has disparate impacts on
different populations with different access to  and uses
for the technology.
10. Use of Internet technology depends on literacy and
whether or not the Internet is generally accepted.
11. Need to think about exporting new technology to
developing world.
12. G-7 countries must be amenable to technology

13. Need to change consumption patterns. We need to
have incentives to encourage such behavior.
14. There should be broad public debate about new
15. We need to build institutional capacity to manage
change in each country.
16. Technology transfer must be accompanied by
institutional evolution.
17. Given current budget cuts, there is a question
about the adequacy of monitoring systems focused on
environmental change.
18. How do we prepare for surprises? How do we
institute adaptive environmental management?
19. How well are we using existing monitoring data?
20. We should consider the possible collapse of public
support for environmental protection.
21. We should consider the implications of an emis-
sions-free car and the impact that it would have on
22.  We should consider the consequences of institu-
tional inertia in developing solutions for problems.

Environmental Conditions in 2020
Part of the way through the discussion the participants
were asked to contribute their personal ideas about
what the important environmental issues might be in
the year 2020. Here are their suggestions:
1. Worldwide demand for electricity rises by 2-fold,
while demand in Asia rises by 4-fold.
2. Use of coal and natural gas increase.
3. There is no development of renewable fuels.
4. Use of nuclear power disappears.
5. The need for institutional capacity in the developing
6. The need for monitoring in all countries.
7. The impact of technology to address our problems.
8. The impact of price on our patterns of energy use.
9. Climate change issues will be more critical.
10. Institutions are inadequate to address the prob-
11. The presence of one car-per-person on the planet.
12. Renewable technologies will be affordable, but
will not be used.
13. There will be continued degradation at an increas-
ing rate. In the South, this will be due to population
growth and meeting basic human needs. In the North,
it will be due to continued and increased high-con-
sumption lifestyle.
14. There will less desire for mobility in the future,
due to
the ease and convenience of electronic interaction.
15. Nuclear power will be the energy source of choice,
in order to avoid climate change impacts.  However,
there will be a major nuclear accident to which the
world will have to respond.
April, 1997

16. An anti-gravity industry will just be getting
started, with major implications for transportation.
There is a lack of confidence in science to address
these problems, especially in the area of climate
17.  Meeting the targets set out in climate change
agreements will be delayed.
18. There will development of new technologies, but
they will not be implemented effectively.
19. There will be a "green" car, and there will be
changes in preferred modes of transportation.
20. There is a need to get developing countries in-
volved in environmental protection.
21. All of our predictions will be wrong.
22. There will be lots of surprises.
23. There will be a crisis in public attitudes regarding
the environment.

24. Nuclear energy will have been phased out; fuel cell
technology will have been introduced.
25. The world will see the appearance of "environ-
mental refugees" created by the impacts of climate
26. Transportation problems will be especially acute in
Southern cities.
27, There will be an inability to finance technology
transfer to the developing world.

28. There will be severe energy supply problems
leading to conflicts.
29. There will reduced access to transportation in
some parts of the world leading to decreased mobility
and increased isolation.
30. Increased freight transportation will lead to
transfer of disease from one point to another in the
world. This development will lead to a reaction
against the free movement of people and material.
31. We will not achieve the climate change targets.
32. Nuclear power will be phased out, and fossil fuels
will be heavily taxed and targeted for phaseout in the
year 2100.
33. Many road and air transport systems will be taxed
and restricted in a move to develop more public
transportation systems.

Summary of Potential Environmental
Issues in Energy, Transportation, and
Climate Change
In summarizing its deliberations, the group agreed on
some major points:
1. New mechanisms are needed to deal with these
2. This implies new (or substantially improved)
3. There is a need for more and better indicators; cf.,
monitoring, and use of such information.
4. There is a need for more public discussion of these
issues, and greater clarity in the decision making
process regarding these problems.
5. No matter what happens, the future will bring
"surprises" therefore, we need to improve our capabil-
ity to anticipate surprises and our capacity to react to
   Regarding likely developments over the next 25
years in the areas of energy, transportation, and
climate change, the group concluded the following:
Energy consumption and production trends are not
sustainable. Price changes will lead to alternatives;
e.g., renewables, improved efficiencies, and increased
consideration of nuclear energy as an option. Lack of
access to energy sources will lead to conflict. Energy
choices will be based on environmental, as well as
economic, factors.
   Transportation and mobility trends will result in
worldwide increases in congestion, with insufficient
development of transportation systems. The group
anticipated that during this period, the public will
realize the need to make a change.
   Climate change will continue to be a problem and
its effects will become more apparent.  Existing
agreements will not have been adequately imple-
mented and there will a shift of resources from
mitigation to adaptation.  .
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Work Group D
New Technologies
Co-Reporters ,
       AvrimLazar  (Canada),
       Peter Bogdanov (Russia)
       Christian Brodhag (France)
       Corrado CIini.(Italy),
       Ursula Mumpro (Germany),
       William Nitze (United States),
       E. Kurt Oeser (Germany),
       John Robinson (Canada),
       Robert Shapiro (United States),
       Andrew Sors (European Commission),
       Osamu Takasawa (Japan),
       Toshiaki Tanabe (Japan), and
       R. Kerry Turner (United Kingdom)
       Barbara Stinson
       Anne Barton

Summary of Discussion

The group discussed that technology can be both good
and bad for the environment. Participants spent little
time trying to predict the specific environmental
issues for 2020 resulting from technology innovations.
Instead, two lines of discussion were pursued. One
started with the observation that the societal context,
not technology itself, is the key and ended with a call
for a common environmental vision that will help
build a constituency. The other started with the
impossibility of accurately predicting the environmen-
tal issues and ended with a call for new forms of
monitoring or "early warning" of environmental

Role of New Technology
Discussion started with the question of how new
technology will potentially impact the environment in
the future. One participant responded by suggesting
that both hopes and fears are present regarding the
sustainability of natural resources and the impact new
technologies will have on the future. On the one hand,
there is inevitable population growth, and on the
other, technological innovations. One participant
questioned whether innovations can occur fast enough
or if the rate of innovations can be increased. Others
discussed that some of the early session presenters'
predictions on possible future issues were not that
surprising. One participant offered that the way in
which they play out may be surprising. The trends in
societal attitudes were thought to be the areas of
greatest concern; future technologies can be predicted
much better.
   While some were troubled by the idea of forecast-
ing technology or any component, in general, the
group felt that experts could probably predict new
technologies more effectively.  A participant pointed
out that many natural disasters that have been pre-
dicted have also been averted because they were
anticipated. This discussion led to the idea that the
most valuable activity is the determination of society's
desired future. One participant suggested that the
best way to deliver the increase in goods and services
that will be needed will be to decentralize the system
and make it pay for business and industry to be clean.
Another suggested that a paradigm shift is occurring
which views sustainability as a societal need to be met
by technological innovation and by business and
industrial development. Other participants offered
that there is a shift occurring which suggests that
sustainability should be met by changes in human
behavior. One implication of information technology
is that it creates value without creating more "goods."
It could be used to address the need for a shift in
societal needs. In summary, participants stated that
new technology also has the  potential for creating new
communities that can deal with issues in a better way
than our  democracies.
   The group discussed that to get technology that
supports sustainability, there must be the political will
to pull technology in the proper direction. For the
short term, a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to
define problems and push the idea of sustainability
from the bottom up.

Future  of Pollution Prevention
It was suggested that there is a break-even point in
pollution prevention putting a ceiling on financial
incentives for companies to achieve reductions.
Beyond this point, it is regulation that moves polluters
beyond the break-even point to clean up further. The
point was made that these expenses, resulting from
strong regulation, have not caused countries to lose in
the international market, as was forecasted years ago.
Therefore, some thought that this trend would con-
April, 1997

tinue. One participant reminded the group that in
most countries, many goods that are exchanged are
not in the "free market," but are subsidized (e.g.,
agriculture or energy). Removing this action would
raise the break-even point, as the true costs of produc-
ing goods would be exposed.

Need for A Vision and Political Will
One participant remarked on the need for mechanisms
to deal with the problems we know of in the short
term, but also those anticipated in 25 years.  Given
that it is difficult to determine current environmental
conditions, it was suggested that a global monitoring
system is needed. Leaving the debates on nuclear and
biotechnology aside for the moment, some suggested
that technology is generally good for society and
needs to be encouraged. Since the development of
technology is inevitable, it may be helpful to encour-
age the development of prediction technology and
monitoring of global change.
   It was remarked that in the three dimensions of
time, scale, and complexity of environmental issues,
we are dealing with problems that our global, long
term, and complex. Political decision-making is
mainly local, short term, and straight-forward. Some-
how, this must be resolved. Our ideas and descrip-
tions must be more compelling and vivid, using
coastal zones as indicators of environmental progress.
   The group called for the development of an
improved social context for new technology. How do
we affect the direction of technology for
sustainability? We need the social pull of technology
rather than the technology push towards society. It
was stated that we know how to do a lot with a
combination of internalizing environmental costs and
regulation. However, we do not as yet have the
political will in a democracy to direct technological
innovations toward sustainability. How do we de-
velop such a constituency? The group reiterated the
need for a critique of the current system, a new vision,
strategy, tactics, with the most important of these
being what we lack most - a new vision.
   In creating a new vision, there must be a
resocialization which uncouples the idea of striving
for well-being from the need for "well having."
   One participant suggested that scenario-planning
that involves multiple stakeholders can be valuable in
achieving this. It was suggested that development of
scenarios starts with observable trends. It was also
suggested that trends analysis is at least valuable for
alerting people to problems, which sets the stage for
future visioning. Participants confirmed that it is
valuable to conduct this discussion, and that it might
be helpful to have a longer discussion on a narrower
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

Country Reports
Executive Summary
Governments have been engaged in examining socio-
economic and political trends related to the environ-
ment for many years. What is different, in the mid
1990s, is an explicit recognition amongst policy-
makers of the importance of taking the future seri-
ously. Taking the future seriously involves moving
away from the customary reactive approach to envi-
ronmental protection, where the focus is almost
exclusively on the past and the present, and moving
towards anticipating not only future environmental
problems, but also the capacity of our institutions to
address them. This is what is often referred to as
environmental foresight.
   The case for environmental foresight - and the
challenges it poses - comes across strongly in the
country reports prepared for the G-7 Environmental
Futures Workshop. The reports point to the growing
complexity, intractability and uncertainty inherent in
environmental problems, at home and especially in a
global context. The reports also suggest, either directly
or indirectly, that the distance between the present
and the future is shrinking at an increasing speed. The
most important message in the country reports,
however, concerns the meaning of these changes for

General Observations
• Futures research tends to be driven by specific
programme and policy needs. There have been broad
scoping initiatives (e.g. the EC's Forward Studies
Unit), sector-wide or issue-specific projects (e.g.
Japan's Science and Technology Agency project on
climate change and the German Advisory Council on
Climate Change) and government-wide exercises for
looking at the future (e.g. Canada 2005). The EPA's
Beyond the Horizon project represents one of the most
ambitious futures activities to date.
• The reports provide examples of policy-oriented
futures analysis as well as futures analysis that is
highly scientific in nature. On the whole, futures
projects tend to integrate a wide range of disciplines
from the "hard" (e.g. biology and chemistry) and
"soft" (e.g. economics and sociology) sciences.
• The scope of most of the futures research reported
by participating countries is domestic and, to a lesser
degree, regional.  While many of the issues being
subject to futures analysis are transborder or genu-
inely global in scope, there is often a disconnect with
the institutional framework for futures work. Impor-
tant exceptions are the Eco-Asia project and EU-level
futures activities, which provide initial templates for
building linkages between environmental problems
and institutional capacity for environmental foresight.
• Many of the projects described in the country
reports have a timeframe of about 10 years. A few
look to the very long term, such as 2020 (at the EC),
2025 (the Eco-Asia project) and 2097 (Japan's New
Earth 21 initiative).
• The observation in the UK report that there is "a
variety of initiatives led by different agents for differ-
ent purposes" applies across the countries participat-
ing in the workshop.

Government Involvement
• The main form of government involvement in
futures research is the direct research that is under-
taken in government departments and agencies.
Governments also fund outside futures research (e.g.
the Institute for Sustainable Development in Canada),
sponsor think tanks that undertake futures research
(e.g. the British Policy Studies Institute's Britain in
2010 project), draw on bodies that provide futures
advice to governments (e.g. Germany's Council of
Environmental Advisors) and participate in partner-
ships or consortiums with research institutes and the
private sector (e.g. France).

Uses of Foresight
• The main purpose of government-sponsored futures
research is to use foresight as the basis for identifying
issues (e.g. Italy's Intel-ministerial Committee on
Economic Planning for the Assessment and Forecast-
ing of Future Environmental Problems), setting
priorities for action (e.g. EC, January 1996 exercise)
and evaluating existing policies and programmes and
designing new ones.  Futures work is also recognized
April, 1997

to be valuable for internal organizational purposes,
such as business planning and resource allocation,
although this kind of use often encounters hurdles
because the links between analysis and decision-
making processes are not yet well-developed.

• Every country report describes futures projects that
involve literature reviews, trends analysis and predic-
tion (what future should we expect?). Other popular
techniques are scanning, look-out panels of experts
and visioning (what future do we want?).
* The most sophisticated approaches described in the
country reports rely on  quantitative forecasting of
potential futures (e.g. energy and SO2 and other air
emission forecasting) and/or scenario-building.
Forecasting and scenario-building are seen to be tools
for enhancing human resource and institutional
capacities to address environmental issues, for ex-
ample by fostering creative thinking. Formal scenario-
building is applied in the EC, Germany, Japan and the
United States.

Issues Identified
• The country reports identify a number of common
and country-specific emerging issues. The leading
emerging issues include:
1. Sustainable development, in a global sense but also
on a sector basis (virtually all countries);
2. Climate change and the need to reduce dependence
on fossil fuels (e.g. Germany and Canada);
3. New technologies for sustainable development (e.g.
the Technology Foresight project in the UK, geneti-
cally-modified organisms and the effects of the
Information Society);
4. Environmental indicators (e.g. UK and Germany);
5. Urbanization, megacities and rural areas (e.g. Italy
and France);
6. Health and environment (e.g. Canada and the EPA);
7. Transportation (e.g. traffic, use of cars and alterna-
tive modes of transportation, especially in European
8. Adaptation (e.g. the implications of living with
uncertainty and environmental surprises, behavioural
responses to environmental problems and the need, as
recognized in the Russian Federation report, for new
perspectives on environment, economy and society
linkages); and
9. Methodologies and paradigms for futures research
(e.g, Germany and the QUEST project in Canada).

While the country reports deal primarily with the
present state of environmental futures research, it is
equally important to contemplate what the reports
imply about the potential futures for this kind of
research. Two key areas of concern are raised in the
1. How can the capacity of governments to anticipate
the future be strengthened?
2. How can futures research be better integrated with
policy-making at all levels?
   On the first question, the country reports deal with
the methodological and institutional dimensions of
building futures capacity. The reports confirm that
the kinds of environmental problems facing us now
and in the future are not susceptible to analysis using
conventional tools and analytic approaches. New
techniques, such as systematic scanning of expert
knowledge and scenario-building based on assump-
tions about growth, the structure of society and the
economy and technology, are better suited to investi-
gating environmental futures and developing appro-
priate policy and programme responses. Moreover, as
Peter Schwartz, the President of the Global Business
Network, maintains, "taking the long" view is today
just as much art as it is science (The Art of the Long
View, 1991).
   On the second issue, several of the country reports
point out that reaping the benefits of environmental
foresight depends on our ability to integrate long-term
futures analysis with the policy process. Futures
research is already used in many countries for prior-
ity-setting and business planning purposes. This
reflects a recognition that the cost of avoiding an
environmental problem is often less than the cost of
solving it later. It also reflects continuing fiscal
   The country reports suggest, however, that the
central challenge for environmental foresight is to
ensure that this initial integration of long-term analy-
sis and government policy- and decision-making is
extended on a much broader, more systematic basis.
The reports also indicate that it is equally important,
          G-7 Environmental Futures Forum Proceedings

given the seriousness of the environmental issues on
tomorrow's agenda, that appropriate, effective use is
made by policy-makers of the diverse futures-oriented
activities underway in the countries participating at
this workshop.

The country reports suggest a number of options for
developing futures research in the G-7 context:
1. Building in a discrete foresight capacity to indi-
vidual government departments and agencies;
2. Introducing linking mechanisms between organiza-
tions involved in futures research and analysis in
order to develop cooperative networks that reduce
overlap and duplication and maximize opportunities
for sharing knowledge and insights;
3. Developing new ways of integrating futures knowl-
edge with policy- and decision-making;
4. Establishing a strong and vibrant "market" for
environmental foresight in domestic, regional and
international policy processes;
5. Applying the "learning organization" model to the
foresight/policy function.
   As the country reports indicate, the options are not
mutually exclusive. They can be pursued indepen-
dently or in combination, and on a domestic or multi-
lateral basis.
April, 1997