UN calls for urgent rethink as resource use skyrockets

phys.org | 3/22/2019 | Staff
Mireille (Posted by) Level 3
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The International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme, with CML researcher Ester van der Voet as member, has prepared a report called Global Resources Outlook 2019: Natural Resources for the Future We Want. It examines the trends in natural resources and their corresponding consumption patterns since the 1970s to support policymakers in strategic decision-making and transitioning to a sustainable economy.

Rapid growth in extraction of materials is the chief culprit in climate change and biodiversity loss – a challenge that will only worsen unless the world urgently undertakes a systemic reform of resource use, according to a report released at the UN Environment Assembly.

Resources - Outlook - International - Resource - Panel

Global Resources Outlook 2019, prepared by the International Resource Panel, examines the trends in natural resources and their corresponding consumption patterns since the 1970s to support policymakers in strategic decision-making and transitioning to a sustainable economy.

The main conclusions of the report are:

Decades - Population - Product - Times - Report

Over the past five decades, the population has doubled and global domestic product has increased four times. The report finds that, in the same period, annual global extraction of materials grew from 27 billion tonnes to 92 billion tonnes (by 2017). This will double again by 2060 on current trends.

According to the report, "the extraction and processing of materials, fuels and food make up about half of total global greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress". By 2010, land-use changes had caused a loss of global species of approximately 11 per cent.

Global - Resources - Outlook - Planet - Resources

"The Global Resources Outlook shows that we are ploughing through this planet's finite resources as if there is no tomorrow, causing climate change and biodiversity loss along the way," said Joyce Msyua, Acting Executive Director of UN Environment. "Frankly, there will be no tomorrow for many people unless we stop."

Since 2000, growth in extraction rates have...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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