IRP Stresses Improved Resource Efficiency to Achieve Global Goals
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

The International Resource Panel (IRP) of UN Environment has released the report, 'Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Impacts'.

The Report finds that by 2050, resource efficiency could add US$2 trillion annually to the global economy.

The report describes four pathways of action that countries can take regarding resource efficiency and analyzes the resulting scenarios, including business as usual and a scenario resulting from the adoption of ambitious policies on both climate change mitigation and resource efficiency.

16 March 2017: More efficient resource use could yield US$2 trillion in annual benefits for the global economy by 2050, according to the report ‘Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications’ launched by the International Resource Panel (IRP) of UN Environment.

Released on the margins of the G20 meeting of finance ministers, the report analyzes the potential for increasing efficiency in the use of natural resources and the environment, identifies transboundary effects, and discusses implications for economic activity, human well-being and development. The publication is divided into five parts covering: rationale and core terms; trends in resource use, environmental impacts, resource efficiency, economics, and governance; best practices and case studies in increasing resource efficiency; future scenarios for resource use and resource efficiency; and conclusions.

The report finds that achieving the SDGs and cost effectively meeting climate change targets will require substantial increases in resource efficiency.

Key messages highlighted in the Summary for Policy Makers include: achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and cost effectively meeting climate change targets will require substantial increases in resource efficiency; resource efficiency can contribute to economic growth and job creation; and substantial opportunities exist for greater resource efficiency that are practically attainable. On meeting climate change targets, for example, the report highlights that resource efficiency is necessary to offset the substantial costs associated with efforts to keep average global warming to 2ºC compared to pre-industrial levels.

Developing its conclusions, the report describes four pathways of action that countries can take regarding resource efficiency and analyzes the resulting scenarios, including business as usual and a scenario resulting from the adoption of ambitious policies on both climate change mitigation and resource efficiency. The comparison of the two scenarios shows that, by 2050, the contribution of resource efficiency to the global economy could reach US$2 trillion per year compared to a business as usual scenario.

The report was commissioned in 2015 by the Group of Seven (G7) countries. In addition to the full report and the Summary for Policy Makers, policy briefs on specific areas of resource efficiency and related actions are available on the report website. [UN Environment Press Release] [Report Website] [Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications]

related posts

Online Tool and Database Analyze NDC-SDG Links

Online Tool and Database Analyze NDC-SDG Links

Student Sustainability Knowledge Highest on SDGs 2, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16

Student Sustainability Knowledge Highest on SDGs 2...