EU Goes Ahead – In Short
The EU Goes Ahead scenario assumes that while Non-EU countries introduce climate polices of relatively low ambition, and few policies to improve resource efficiency, the EU unilaterally pursues a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy.
In this future world, major disappointment at the failure of international agreements on the development agenda lead to a thorough review of the EU’s competencies. Resource efficiency is identified as a key opportunity to boost Europe’s competetiveness and protect against potential climate change impacts and material scarcity that are expected to appear later in the century. This agenda reinvigorated the EU und received backing from member states, corporations and citizens.
Lifestyles and preferences are largely shaped by the top down structures and are largely led by extrinsic motivation. Resource efficiency is achieved by technological solutions. Appropriate price signals and clear environmental information (eco-labelling) show citizens the most resource-efficient products and services.
In 2050 all people throughout Europe live in comfortable, zero-carbon homes which are insulated, have a modern heating system and are equipped with renewable energy. Urban mining plays a major role as well: materials from demolition sites are recycled. European society is even more mobile than it is today. Urban transportation will be zero carbon by 2050. The use of cars remains high, but are propelled by electricity and hydrogen. There will be a European high-speed railway network, displacing road travel and aviation for mid- to long-distance travel. In EU Goes Ahead, electrification of the energy system is widespread (with electricity generated almost entirely by renewables and other low- and zero-carbon sources), and is the driving force behind decarbonisation of the transport sector and for heating and cooling in buildings. There will be a large share of organic farming in European agriculture.