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UNEP Welcomes Alicia Barcena Ibarra as New Co Chair of Expert Panel on Natural Resources 

8 June 2016 - Mexican diplomat and biologist Alicia Barcena Ibarra became today the new co-chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP), a body of leading natural resource scientists and experts, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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UN Expert Calls for Tax on Meat Production 

25 May 2016 - People could be deterred from eating meat by increasing its price further up the supply chain, stemming rise in consumption and environmental damage. Governments should tax meat production in order to stem the global rise in consumption and the environmental damage that goes with it, according to a UN expert.

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Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation 

25 April 2016 - Global leaders recently convened at the UN to sign on to the Paris climate agreement and committed to a wide range of strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Expectations are particularly high for two of the most widely recognized solutions to climate change: energy efficiency and renewable energy. But how much do we know about the environmental impacts of a large-scale deployment of these technologies - including the benefits or costs from a life-cycle perspective? And by how much can the gains from energy efficient technologies be multiplied if GHG emissions from electricity production are also reduced?

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Interview: Paul Ekins - Member of the UN Environment Programme's International Resource Panel

6 October 2015 - Paul Ekins is a Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at the Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London. He is leading voice in the United Kingdom on sustainability, having been an advisor to governments, parliaments, the European Commission, the United Nations, regulatory agencies and companies.

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University of Minnesota leads a $12M research network to build healthy, sustainable, and livable cities - Project directed by Professor Anu Ramaswami member of the International Resource Panel

11 August 2015 - The University of Minnesota has received a $12 million dollar award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to bring together a unique network of scientists, industry leaders, and policy partners committed to building better cities of the future.

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G7 Summit in Germany: Leaders' Declaration supports International Resource Panel role in resource efficiency

8 June 2015 - The declaration stated: "We ask the UNEP International Resource Panel to prepare a synthesis report highlighting the most promising potentials and solutions for resource efficiency. We further invite the OECD to develop policy guidance supplementing the synthesis report." 

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Biggest Day for Positive Environmental Actions Kicks off with a Call to 'Consume with Care'

3 June 2015 - World Environment Day (WED), the UN's principal vehicle to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment, will be celebrated around the world on 5 June with a call to governments, communities and individuals to improve their consumption patterns.

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Panel Member Nabil Nasr was interviewed for a remanufacturing segment on MSNBC’s  Morning Joe program

1 December 2014 - How remanufacturing is booming across the US: Remanufacturing is becoming a booming industry across the U.S., and Caterpillar’s Stu Levenick and the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Scott Paul discuss.

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UNEP Welcomes Janez Potočnik as New Co-chair of the International Resource Panel

Rotterdam, 7 November 2014 - Former European Union Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik today became the new co-chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP), the most authoritative scientific forum for scientists and experts working in the area of natural resource management.

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Panel Member Maarten Hajer ranked 3 on the 'Sustainable Top 100' by the National Dutch Newspapers de Verdieping Trouw (only in dutch)

On September 10 2014 Maarten Hajer presented "The future is now. Balance of the environment in 2014 . As a strategic advisor to the government 'investigates ' the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) biennial how the quality objectives set by the political system in the field of energy, nature, environment and spatial planning will be reached in time. The new Balance PBL concludes that government policy too little bet on a low-CO2 energy system.

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Reports & Publications

  • Unlocking the Sustainable Potential of Land Resources: Evaluation Systems, Strategies and Tools

    Land resources are one of nature’s most precious gifts. They feed us and help our societies and economies to thrive. Some 2.5 billion agricultural smallholders worldwide....


  • Food systems and natural resources

    Global food systems have radically changed over the last 50 years. Food production has more than  doubled, diets have become more varied (and often more energy-intense) satisfying people’s preferences ...


  • Options for Decoupling Economic Growth from Water Use and Water Pollution

    Global trends point to a relative decoupling of water – that is, the rate of water resource use is increasing at a rate slower than that of economic growth. The Options for Decoupling Economic Growth from...


  • Green energy choices: The benefits, risks and trade-offs of low-carbon technologies for electricity production

    This report represents the first in-depth international comparative assessment of the environmental, health and resource impacts of different low-carbon technologies for electricity production… ...


  • International Trade in Resources: A Biophysical Assessment                                                                                                                          

    This latest report from the IRP analyses the role of international trade in increasing resource efficiency, reducing environmental impact and promoting equitable and inclusive growth? ...


  • Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption with Sustainable Supply

    This report explores how the management of land-based biomass production and consumption can be developed towards a higher degree of sustainability across different scales: from the sustainable...


  • Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production: Priority Products and Materials

    This report focuses not on the effects of environmental pressure, but on its causes. It describes pressures as resulting from economic activities. These activities are pursued for a purpose, ...


  • City Level Decoupling: Urban Resource Flows and the Governance of Infrastructure Transitions

    This report examines the potential for decoupling at the city level. While the majority of the worlds population now live in cities and cities are where most resource consumption takes place, ...


  • Measuring Water Use in a Green Economy
     

    Water is an essential resource for virtually all aspects of human enterprise, from agriculture via urbanization to energy and industrial production. Equally, the many uses for water create pressures...


  • Decoupling Natural Resources Use and Environmental Impacts from Economic Growth

    Humankind has witnessed phenomenal economic and social development in the past century. However, there are increasing signs that it has come at a cost to the environment and to the availability of ...


  • Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels

    This report provides an overview of the key problems and perspectives and use of biofuels. It is based on an extensive literature study, taking into account recent major reviews.


  • Building Natural Capital: How REDD+ can Support a Green Economy

    This report advocates placing REDD+ into a larger planning framework that should involve multiple influences (especially those driving deforestation, albeit sometimes inadvertently).


  • Decoupling 2: Technologies, Opportunities and Policy Options
     

    This report was produced by the Decoupling Working Group of the IRP. It explores technological possibilities and opportunities for both developing and developed countries to ...


  • Metal Stocks in Society: Scientific Synthesis
     

    The continued increase in the use of metals over the twentieth century has led to a substantial shift from geological resource base to metal stocks in society. This report reviews the relevant literature on this topic.


  • Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report
     

    In theory, metals can be used over and over again, minimizing the need to mine and process virgin materials and thus saving substantial amounts of energy and water while minimizing environmental ...


  • Environmental Risks and Challenges of Anthropogenic Metals Flows and Cycles

    This report focuses on the impact of metals on the environment as well as on their life cycle energy use. Currently primary metals production is responsible for 78 % of the total global energy use ...


  • Metal Recycling: Opportunities, Limits, Infrastructure
     

    A key question that relates to the very broad and intensive use of metals is whether society needs to be concerned about long-term supplies of any or many of them. This is a many-faceted question ...