The resource extraction has more than tripled since 1970 in the world, including a five-fold increase in the use of non-metallic minerals and a 45 per cent increase in fossil fuel use, informed a UN report - ‘Global Resources Outlook 2019’, released on 12 March 2019 during the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4).
- From 1970 to 2017, the annual global extraction of materials grew from 27 billion tonnes to 92 billion tonnes, tripling in that time and continuing to grow.
- Since 2000, growth in extraction rates have accelerated to 3.2 per cent per annum, driven largely by major investments in infrastructure and higher material living standards in developing and transitioning countries, especially in Asia.
- While the use of metal ores increased by 2.7 per cent annually, the fossil fuel usage went from 6 billion tonnes in 1970 to 15 billion tons in 2017. Biomass increased from 9 billion tonnes to 24 billion tonnes – mostly for food, feedstock and energy.
- Over the past five decades, the population has doubled and global domestic product has increased four times. The report finds that, in the same period, annual global extraction of materials grew from 27 billion tonnes to 92 billion tonnes (by 2017). This will double again by 2060 on current trends.
- Released on the second day of UN Environment Assembly, ‘Global Resources Outlook 2019’ is major a global report on the status and trends of natural resource use and management.
- The report analyses the demographic and socioeconomic forces driving the extraction and use of natural resources worldwide, and reports on how these drivers and pressures have determined our current state.
- The report is prepared by the UN’s International Resource Panel (consists of eminent scientists).
- The International Resource Panel has 40 expert members from a wide range of academic institutions and scientific disciplines.
- With the theme, ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production,’ UNEA-4 is focussing on food systems, resource efficiency through life-cycle approaches, and sustainable business development.
- The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) will take place from 11-15 March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, as agreed during UNEA-3 in December 2017 (UNEP/EA.3/L.2).
- By the same text, the Assembly decided that following the 2019 session, UNEA will convene during the last week each February, unless otherwise decided by UNEA.
- The President of UNEA-4 will be Estonia. Under the overall theme, ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.
UNEA-4 will address:
- Environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss;
- Life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management
- Innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.