Growing concern about assuring affordable, equitable and environmentally sustainable access to natural resources is well founded. In this report we show global natural resource use trends and propose indicators for evidence-based policy formulation.

    Did you know?

    The world’s richest countries consume on average 10 times as many materials as the poorest.

    Did you know?

    Planet will need 180 bn tonnes of material a year by 2050 if trends continue.

    Did you know?

    Primary material extracted from the Earth rose from 22 bn tonnes in 1970 to 70 bn tonnes in 2010.

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    The report

      Growing concern about assuring affordable, equitable and environmentally sustainable access to natural resources is well founded. Global use of natural resources has accelerated during the past decade and emissions and waste have grown in line with growing extraction of natural resources. Monitoring natural resource use and decoupling economic growth from natural resource use will be instrumental in meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In this new report we show global natural resource use trends over four decades and propose indicators for evidence-based policy formulation. The data and indicators presented address resource requirements of production and consumption for the globe, for seven world regions and for every country. The indicators are good proxies for global environmental impact and material standard of living. They vary immensely between countries and regions and show vast challenges and opportunities ahead as we transition to a prosperous, equitable and environmentally friendly global society.

      • UNEP (2016). Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity. An Assessment Study of the UNEP International Resource Panel. H. Schandl, M. Fischer-Kowalski, J. West, S. Giljum, M. Dittrich, N. Eisenmenger, A. Geschke, M. Lieber, H. P. Wieland, A. Schaffartzik, F. Krausmann, S. Gierlinger, K. Hosking, M. Lenzen, H. Tanikawa, A. Miatto, and T. Fishman. Paris, United Nations Environment Programme.

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