For the first time, a world atlas reveals the development of resource use and resource efficiency for all countries in the last 30 years. The study focuses on abiotic resources such as fossil fuels, minerals and metals, as well as biotic resources from agriculture, forestry and fishing.
The atlas was funded by UNIDO, the German Environment Protection Agency, GIZ, SECO, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth.
The global economy faces increasing differences in the per capita consumption of natural resources. The constantly high consumption of rich industrialised nations is colliding with the rapidly growing material consumption in emerging economies such as China and Brazil. All in all, global resource use is increasing faster than global population. At a global average, one person uses around 10 tonnes of resources every year; in Europe, this average is around 15 tonnes; in the rich oil exporting countries it is more than 100 tonnes. In contrast, the average person in Bangladesh uses only 2 tonnes per year.
Progress in resource efficiency is not sufficient. Resource efficiency has increased in many countries in the past thirty years. At the global level, the average person extracts 40% more economic added-value from one tonne of raw material compared to 30 years ago. However, this improvement in efficiency has been off-set by a strong increase in consumed materials.
The world economy is continuing to expand as we continue to consume more goods and services. The efficiency gains are thus more than compensated by economic growth. This increasing thirst for materials leads to social and ecological conflicts – especially when the true costs of growing demand for increasingly scarce natural resources are exported to other countries and regions.
How can we achieve a high quality of life for all people, in all countries, whilst preventing ecological collapse? This can only be achieved with a radical and rapid change in policy, economy and society. Long-term political targets are urgently required. In addition, a fundamental change in societal values and norms-especially in the rich industrialised countries- is required. We need new ways of living and consuming, and we should ask ourselves this question: What is a good life, beyond material consumption?
Download the report here
The International Labour Organization (ILO) organizes the International Labour Conference (ILC) annually. Among other agenda items, general discussion at the 102nd session will take place on "Sustainable development, decent work and green jobs
The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food called for the post-2015 development agenda to be urgently refocused on equality, social protection and accountability, as the efforts of the UN Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals to draft post-2015 targets to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) entered a crucial phase.
Many of the major companies file their sustainability reports without conscience. And their approach to the workers whose labour fuels their profits is criminal.Ask any CEO if they would like their sons or daughters to work in the textile factories in Pakistan, the mines in the Congo, manufacturing plants in Central America, or as beer women in Cambodia, and they shudder.
The decision was adopted in response to EU Commission consultation on unconventional fossil fuels in Europe