Europe’s populations and economies fundamentally depend on the supplies of food, water, energy, and material - from within and beyond the borders of Europe. But is this stock of natural capital being used sustainably and are the environmental resources secure enough to sustain today’s economies and people in good health? Are we using resources efficiently and can we really decouple further economic development from the use of resources and their environmental impacts?
To address these depends critically on the availability of, and access to, reliable environmental information, but there are sometimes vested interests entangled in much of the evidence brought forward to support various policies and actions. This lecture will examine the differing roles of academics, research institutions and independent bodies in creating the sufficiently robust evidence for policy-makers and ask whether today we are seeing evidence-based policy making or policy-based evidence.
Jacqueline McGlade is the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency. She is currently a Trustee of the Natural History Museum and a member of the Environment Advisory Committee of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UK-China Forum and UK-Japan 21st Century Group. Her main areas of specialisation include spatial data analysis and informatics, expert systems, environmental technologies and the international politics of the environment and natural resources.