This report analyzes four paths that countries could take over the next three decades, ranging from business as usual to a scenario where countries adopt both ambitious climate policies and improve resource efficiency. It finds that smarter use of resources can add $2 trillion annually to the global economy.

    Did you know?

     More sustainable use of materials and energy would add an extra $2 trillion to the global economy by 2050

    Did you know?

    Global use of materials will increase from 85 to 186 billion tonnes per year by 2050

    Did you know?

    On current trends, annual resource use per capita will grow by over 70 per cent by mid-century

    The report

      The report, Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications, was commissioned in 2015 by the Group of Seven (G7) countries and released in Berlin at a workshop on resource efficiency for the Group of Twenty (G20) countries.

      Modelling for the report was carried out for the International Resource Panel by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). It used four scenarios: Existing Trends, Resource Efficiency (which does not include climate action), Ambitious Climate, and Efficiency Plus (which combines the Resource Efficiency and the Ambitious Climate scenarios). It looks at the opportunities for a number of key sectors, and makes these key findings:

      • Increased resource efficiency is practically attainable
      • There are substantial areas of opportunity for greater resource efficiency
      • Resource efficiency can contribute to economic growth and job creation
      • Improving resource efficiency is indispensable for meeting the costs of climate targets.

      • UNEP (2017) Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications. A report of the International Resource Panel. Ekins, P., Hughes, N., et al.

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