EDORA: European Development Opportunities for Rural Areas. Led by: UHI Millennium Institute, Inverness, Scotland Co-ordinated by: Andrew Copus, NordRegio Presentation by: David Meredith, Teagasc. Presentation Structure. EDORA: An Overview
Led by: UHI Millennium Institute, Inverness, Scotland
Co-ordinated by: Andrew Copus, NordRegio
Presentation by: David Meredith, Teagasc
…to develop a better understanding of the development opportunities and challenges facing diverse types of rural areas in Europe.
…to support targeted policy development, relating (inter alia) to job creation and social change.
… support the practical implementation - across a range of policy fields – of spatial development principles which have evolved out of … the Fifth Cohesion Report, and the Territorial Cohesion Green Paper.
Econometric modelling limited in the extent to which it takes into consideration unforeseen events, e.g. financial crisis.
Raises the question as to the significance we should ascribe to such ‘Black Swan’ events.
Scenarios enable one to develop alternative, plausible narratives of the future.
Foresight activities take major uncertainties as the building blocks of a conceptual framework within which to consider possible alternative futures.
Within EDORA we were asked to consider the possible futures of rural regions within the EU.
Identification of meta drivers of change
Detailed thematic review
Climate and Energy
Significant implications for economic activities in rural areas given:
Importance of economic sectors dependent on specific environmental conditions (including tourism)
Peak oil will pass (if it has not already) around 2020
Implications for rural areas stem primarily from
Higher transport costs
Energy requirements of traditional industries
Implications vary according the type of policy pursued ranging from ‘clean coal’ – renewable energy sources
It is not necessarily ‘climate change’ that will drive change but policies aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of climate change that will affect rural areas in the period to 2030
Greater recognition of the costs of disruptive weather events (floods / drought / storms) will facilitate State and EU initiatives designed to mitigate the negative impacts of a warmer global climate
These initiatives will have significant implications for rural regions
– greater demand for space to develop renewable energy
– conflict over changing land use
– Will there be a need to concentrate development in CTVs
– Food security issues
– Energy production requirment
Peak oil will be reached during the time period covered by these scenarios.
Post 2020 will be characterised by the prolonged(?) decline of oil / gas production
Heightened awareness of the need to diversify energy supplies
Energy security issues will increasingly dominate EU and National policy debates
A number of possible futures are imaginable
Magic Bullet? Hydrogen / Cold fusion
Depending on where the emphasis is placed and the viability of any of these solutions rural areas might be empowered or disenfranchised.
2. Rural Revival
3. Fossil Future
4. Factory Floor
Rural regions are repositioned within the EU and national economies by virtue of the increasing significance of land in the rise of the ‘Green Economy’
Production of increasingly scarce resources, energy and food, revitalises all types of rural economies
Increasing emphasis is given to regional and national food security with the EU devolving greater responsibility to national governments for the strategic development of their agri-food sectors.
This development mirrors increasing consumer awareness of the environmental consequences of intensive food production and associated dietary changes.
The location of energy generation capacity in rural regions encourages the redistribution of industry seeking lower production costs.
Energy production results in significant infrastructure development which spills over into the broader regional economy increasing accessibility and quality of life.
Resistance to renewable energy production in rural areas results in continued dependence on conventional sources
High fossil energy costs associated with rural industry and dispersed settlement patters make rural regions increasingly uncompetitive.
Food production systems diverge into intensive and extensive systems – in both instances returns to producers are marginal. There is a continued need to subsidise farmers to ensure food is produced. Periodic food shortages occur at times of high energy prices.
Rural regions become increasingly insular with fewer opportunities for travel (decline of tourism)
Population decline affects many rural regions