The International Resource Panel, meeting in Bled, Slovenia, this month, endorsed a range of new study areas, and welcomed a new country to its Steering Committee.

These included the socioeconomic implications of resource efficiency and circular economy measures, a two-year research project into the role of resources in environmental displacement and migration, development of an assessment report on finance for sustainable resource use, work on remanufacturing in the consumer and electronic goods sectors, and developing scientifically sound and implementable science based targets for the sustainable use of resources.

Successful preparation of G20 factsheets based on the International Resource Panel’s Global Resources Outlook 2019 have led the Japanese Presidency of the G20 to ask the Panel for follow-up work on marine plastic litter. This work will support the delivery of the G20 Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, which calls for an elimination of marine plastic litter by 2050.

The meeting, hosted by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning from 5-8 November, also discussed the implementation of two resolutions – on sustainable consumption and production and on mineral resource governance – from the fourth meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly, held in March in Nairobi, Kenya.

A forthcoming report, Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future, prepared by the International Resource Panel at the request of the G7 under Italian Presidency, was also discussed. It estimates significant additional savings of greenhouse gas emissions if material efficiency (where a smaller quantity of materials is sued to provide the same service) strategies for residential housing and cars are integrated into countries’ plans to reduce climate change. The report is expected to be launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, in December.

In addition, the Panel’s governing body, the Steering Committee, in a separate meeting, welcomed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as a new member.

The International Resource Panel and its Steering Committee meet twice a year to discuss current and forthcoming research, methodologies and outcomes. The meetings also give the Steering Committee an opportunity to make decisions at the operational level on membership and budget.

In Bled, 37 Panel members and Steering Committee representatives from 17 countries were present, as well as strategic partners, and representatives from the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.