This is a briefing paper on global megatrends and their effects on the future of environmental science. It was produced as part of the Institution’s Future of ES23 horizon scanning & foresight project, and has been produced for IES members and participants at the IES’s horizon scanning discussion event on megatrends.

The paper is intended to encourage awareness of the nature and effects of megatrends such as climate change and rapid urbanisation to support horizon scanning for environmental professionals and to identify opportunities to inform pathways towards a positive future for environmental science. The paper provides an introductory view, in the context of the breadth of wider literature on the topic of megatrends.