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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Triple resource use by 2050, or improve efficiency and recycling?

The European Commission, together with the UN Environment Programme, launched two major reports that call for a radical change in the way we use scarce resources. The first report shows the immense potential for increasing metal recycling rates. Only 18 metals are recycled more than 50%, and the majority do not even attain a 1% recycling rate. The second report, first presented at the UN Sustainable Development Commission on 18 May, underlines the need for a radical decoupling to avoid a global resource crunch by 2050, and provides science-based scenarios on future resource consumption. The two reports, put together by the International Resource Panel, call on legislators and policymakers to find ways to reduce resource use and increase recycling. Their publication at Green Week opens the way for the Commission's upcoming “Roadmap towards a resource efficient Europe”. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "These reports underline the urgent need for a switch to a resource-efficient economy. They clearly set out the enormous challenges ahead of us, but I am confident that we can rise to the challenge. The Commission is now finalising a “Roadmap towards a Resource Efficient Europe”, which sets a transformational agenda and prepares the ground for the steps ahead. We now need effective dialogue with the Member States, as important decisions will be required in areas such as tax reform and eliminating inefficient subsidies. I also welcome the call for an increased focus on recycling."

Source: European Commission