Global Resources Outlook 2024 | UNEP

The scientific community has never before been more aligned or more resolute on the need for urgent global transformation towards the sustainable use of resources. This 2024 edition of the Global Resources Outlook sheds light on how resources are essential to the effective implementation of the Agenda 2030 and multilateral environmental agreements to tackle the triple planetary crisis. The report brings together the best available data, modelling and assessments to analyse trends, impacts and distributional effects of resource use. It builds on more than 15 years of work by the International Resource Panel, including scientific assessments and inputs from countries, a vast network of stakeholders in the field and regional experts.

The report illustrates how, since the 2019 edition of this report, rising trends in global resource use have continued or accelerated. The report also shows how demand for resources is expected to continue increasing in the coming decades. This means that, without urgent and concerted action, by 2060 resource extraction could rise by 60% from 2020 levels – driving increasing damage and risks.

However, this fate is not sealed. The report also describes the potential to turn negative trends around and put humanity on a trajectory towards sustainability.

For that, bold policy action is critical to phase out unsustainable activities, speed up responsible and innovative ways of meeting human needs and create conditions conducive to social acceptance and equity within the necessary transitions. This includes urgent action to embed resources in the delivery of multilateral environmental agreements, define sustainable resource use paths and roll out appropriate financial, trade and economic incentives. The pathway towards sustainability is increasingly steep and narrow, and the window of opportunity is closing. The science is clear: The key question is no longer whether a transformation towards global sustainable resource consumption and production is necessary, but how to make it happen now. Addressing this reality, based on evolving concepts of a just transition, is an essential part of any credible and justifiable way forward.

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