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Task Member "Catalysing Science-Based Policy Action on SCP (Sustainable Consumption and Production.)" Reporting to United Nations Envierment Assembly 5.

  • Published on February 14, 2021
Management of natural resource and materials in relation to Agenda 2030 Sustainable Resource Management, captured by target 12.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, is on a long-term trend in the wrong direction (GSDR, 2019). Indicators under SDG targets 12.2 and 8.4 on material footprint (materials extracted throughout global supply chains to meet the importing country's demand) and domestic material consumption (materials being used within a country) continue to rise at the global level, showing that the rate at which materials are being extracted globally is outpacing both population and economic growth (UN, 2019). Globally, we continue to use ever-increasing amounts of natural resources to support our economic activity and the efficiency with which resources are used remains unchanged, therefore we have not yet seen decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation (UN, 2019). In a business as usual scenario, GDP will continue to grow at an average rate of 2.2% per year to reach 216 trillion USD by 2060. This would require a 110% increase in global resource extraction to 190 billion tonnes (IRP, 2019). In addition, the use of natural resources and the related benefits and environmental impacts are unevenly distributed across countries and regions. Perpetuating current modes of production and consumption, and the current levels of inequality associated with them, threatens the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda.
Natural resources are at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They underpin human consumption and production systems at the global, regional, national and local scales. Natural resource depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation are increasing at an unsustainable pace, becoming more intertwined and mutually reinforcing. Changes in consumption and production patterns can help promote decoupling of economic growth and human well-being from resource use and environmental impacts. It can also trigger the transformations envisaged by global commitments on biodiversity, climate and sustainable development at large. Modelling undertaken by the Panel shows that by 2060, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production policies could decrease global resource use by 25 per cent, increase global gross domestic product by 8 per cent and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 per cent, compared with projections under business as usual.

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