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The International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management

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Presentation on theme: "The International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management"— Presentation transcript:

1 The International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management
Janet Salem United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

2 Resources...? volume: Conceptual computer artwork of the total volume of water on Earth (left) and of air in the Earth’s atmosphere (right) shown as spheres (blue and pink). The water sphere measures 1390 kilometers across and has a volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometers. This includes all the water in the oceans, seas, ice caps, lakes and rivers as well as ground water, and that in the atmosphere. The air sphere measures 1999 kilometers across and weighs 5140 trillion tonnes. As the atmosphere extends from Earth it becomes less dense. Half of the air lies within the first 5 kilometres of the atmosphere. Image by Dr Adam Nieman.

3 Global policy agenda evolving
Environment in political agenda Air pollution Water pollution Ozone Depletion Waste management Climate Change Biodiversity Resources Moving from: Local to global End-of-pipe to start-of-pipe Straight forward to complex Increasing attention to social and economic considerations Time

4 Global policy agenda Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) 2002: World Summit for Sustainable Development Resource use contributing to MDGs Delinking economic growth and environmental degradation through improving efficiency and sustainability in use of resources and production processes and reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste. : CSD cycle Focusing on SCP, Waste, Chemicals, Mining, Transport 2012: Rio+20 Focusing on a ‘New development paradigm’ based on low carbon and resilient economies, Poverty eradication and Sustainable consumption and production. European Commission Resources Strategy UNEP Resource Efficiency identified as a priority Other: G8 Environment Ministers (Kobe Action Plan on Resource Productivity), OECD (Sustainable Materials Management)

5 Science for policy? Climate change – IPCC Biodiversity – Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, now the International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Hazardous substances – Basel Convention Ozone – Montreal Protocol’s scientific assessments And many others… …but no international assessments to support decision making on resources.

6 Objectives Terms of Reference:
To provide independent, coherent and authoritative scientific assessments of policy relevance on the sustainable use of natural resources and in particular their environmental impacts over the full life cycle; To contribute to a better understanding of how to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. In short: To give decision-makers the information they need to respond to resource challenges

7 Background What are we talking about?
Understanding how to decouple environmental impacts and resource use from economic growth… … while avoiding burden shifting between countries, generations, and trade-offs between impact categories and life cycle stages. Resource use Economic activity Environmental impacts Quality of the environment Time

8 Fundamental concepts - DPSIR
Decoupling means breaking the links between (1) economic growth and (2) resource and environmental pressures and impacts and associated impacts Decoupling responses target the drivers of impacts and resource use, while maintaining economic growth and welfare.

9 Key issues Resources are important to many aspects of development: economic growth, poverty reduction, environmental impacts. We need a better understanding on many issues related to resources: More thought is needed about what this means for developed, emerging and developing countries. Policy making needs a sophisticated approach that considers burden-shifting and trade-offs. What are the economic impacts of resource policies? How do trade issues, resource rights and poverty reduction come into the picture?

10 International network of experts
How it works UNEP Secretariat Direction, procedures, outreach Resource Panel Internationally recognized experts on sustainable resource management Scientific assessments and advice, networks Decoupling Metals Land / Soil Water Impacts Biofuels Others Steering Committee Governments and civil Society Organizations Strategic guidance, political support, regional synergies Cross-cutting topics Sectoral entry points Assessments launched! International network of experts

11 Working Groups Assessing biofuels
Scientific understanding of decoupling and resource productivity Objective: To provide a scientific understanding of decoupling and resource productivity and related policies and methodologies. The environmental impacts of products and materials Objective: To provide authoritative, coherent, policy relevant assessments on which product groups and materials are most responsible for environmental impacts and resource scarcity and options for decreasing their impacts. Assessing biofuels Objective: To improve the analytical basis for decision making towards sustainable production and use of biomass for energy purposes ("biofuels"), at the international, regional and national level. Global metals flows Objective: To contribute to the promotion of reuse and recycling activities of metals and the establishment of the international sound material-cycle society by providing scientific and authoritative assessment studies on the global flows of metals. Water Efficiency Objective: To improve the analytical basis for decision making on efficient utilization of water.

12 How it works Meet the Panel:

13 How it works Meet the Steering Committee:
Government: Canada, China, Chile, EC, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania and USA, OECD Civil Society Organisations: ICSU, IUCN, and WBCSD Observers: UK

14 Three reports have been released on the more urgent questions of policy makers. Ten further reports under development.

15 The metals challenge Metals are essential for economic development
Base metals like steel and aluminum, mainly for buildings and infrastructure Precious and specialty metals, like palladium and indium for modern/clean technologies Global demand for metals is increasing E.g. copper and aluminum have doubled in the past 2 decades Rising demand in emerging economies and developing countries Very strong demand growth for many precious and specialty ('technology') metals The increasing global demand for metals causes many problems and challenges Increasing environmental pressures from extraction and manufacturing of raw materials Growing dependence on regional or economic concentrations of natural resources Increasing risks of international crisis (e.g. war lord activities in parts of Africa) Social tensions among local populations (land owner issues etc.)

16 UNEP’s Global Metals Flows Group
Promoting the recycling of metals and a “circular economy” Work on a series of six assessment reports Report 1: Metal Stocks in Society (published now) Report 2: Recycling Rates (will be published in 2011.; first results presented today) Report 3: Environmental Impacts of Metals Report 4: Geological Metal Stocks Report 5: Future Demand Scenarios of Metals Report 6: Critical Metals and Metals Policy Options

17 Metal stocks in society
The metals stocks in society are increasing worldwide In-use stock of copper has grown in the US from 73 to 238 kg per capita ( ) The world average is 50 kg copper per capita (2000) In-use stock of steel in China is 1.5 tons (2004) per capita, but in the USA it is tons per capita (2004) If the whole world would copy the industrialized countries the global in-use metal stocks would be 3 to 9 times present levels For many technology metals, like indium and rhodium, more than 80% extracted from natural resources was in the past 3 decades There is a substantial shift in metals stocks from below ground to above ground These “mines above ground” have growing potential for future metals supply E.g. average lifetime of copper in buildings is 25 to 40 years, but for metals in cell phones and PCs it less than 5 years

18 The relevance of recycling
Enhanced recycling of metals from in-use stocks is a key solution for SD The production of metals from secondary raw materials reduces environmental impacts compared to primary metals production High energy savings and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions Secondary steel causes 75% less GHG emissions compared to primary steel GHG emissions of secondary aluminum production are about 12 times lower than of primary aluminum production Recycling reduces the pressure on biodiversity, water resources etc. Recycling of metals moderates dependencies on natural resources, which are often concentrated in insecure regions Recycling ensures sustainable access to potentially scarce metals Recycling creates new jobs and income all over the world

19 Recycling rates of metals
Investigation of 62 different metals The metals are grouped into four categories 9 ferrous metals: iron, manganese, nickel, chromium etc. 8 non-ferrous metals: aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, tin, magnesium etc. 8 precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium etc. 37 specialty metals: indium, gallium, lithium, tantalum, rare earth metals, tellurium etc. The most important metric is the end-of-life recycling rate A high end-of-life recycling rate for a metal indicates a high efficiency of the related post -consumer recycling system Only a few metals, like iron and platinum, currently have an end-of-life recycling rate of above 50%

20 Ferrous metals: steel example

21 Recycling rates of steel
The most widely-used metal – construction, infrastructure, vehicles, etc. Current global production counts on 1.3 billion tons steel per year, which causes billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions (4-5% of total man-made emissions) Often used in very large pieces (steel beams, auto bodies), which makes recycling more probable Recycled iron requires only about 25% of the energy needed to produce virgin iron Estimated 2009 end-of-life recycling rate: >50% (varies among countries and iron-containing products) An additional substitution of just 100 million tons of primary steel by secondary steel has a GHG reduction potential of about 150 million tons CO2

22 Non-ferrous metals: copper example
Courtesy of International Copper Association

23 Recycling rates of copper
Common uses: power distribution, electrical wiring, plumbing Usually used in pure form and in rather large pieces, which makes recycling more probable (exception: electric and electronic devices) Increasing demand for infrastructure and innovative technologies , like electric vehicles Increasing small-scale applications in which copper is embedded in a complex matrix: cell phones, DVD players, electronic toys etc. Estimated 2009 end-of-life recycling rate: 25-50% (varies among countries and copper-containing products) Lack of adequate recycling infrastructure for WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) in most parts of the world causes total losses of copper and other valuable metals like gold, silver, palladium, tin etc.

24 Precious metals: palladium example

25 Recycling rates of palladium
Current global mine production about 220 tons/year; high regional concentration Main applications are automotive catalysts (> 60%) and electronics (> 16%); further applications industrial catalysts, dental, jewellery Current end-of-life recycling rate 60-70% (global average) Excellent rates for industrial applications: 80-90% Moderate rates for automotive applications: 50-55% Poor rates for electronic applications: 5-10% Increasing problems due to lack of recycling infrastructure for consumer goods Less than 10% of post-consumer cell phones are recycled in an appropriate way The main problems are insufficient collection and pre-treatment schemes in the most countries of the world

26 Specialty metals: indium example
tellurium Courtesy of Umicore Precious Metals Refining

27 Recycling rates of indium
Strategic metal used for LCD glass, lead-free solders, semiconductors/LED, photovoltaic etc. Strong growth in gross demand is predicted for indium: from ca. 1,200 tons (2010) to ca. 2,600 tons (2020) Specialty metals like indium are crucial for future sustainable technologies like PV, battery technologies, catalysts, efficient lighting systems etc. The supply of indium from natural resources is crucial: so-called minor metal, which occurs just as a by-product (mainly zinc ores) in low concentrations The current end-of -life recycling rate of indium is below 1% like for the most other specialty metals: urgent progress is necessary to enhance their recycling

28 Critical metals for clean technologies - examples
Tellurium, selenium for high efficiency solar cells Neodymium and dysprosium for wind turbine magnets Lanthanum and cobalt for hybrid vehicle batteries Terbium and indium for advanced metal imaging Gallium for LED Platinum for automotive catalysts and fuel cells These and other critical metals become essentially unavailable for use in modern technology without enhanced end-of-life recycling rates in the future!

29 Conclusions Metal stocks in society are increasing continuously
These “mines above ground” could contribute to decoupling of resource use from economic growth by efficient recycling UNEP’s work on metals has shown just moderate or even poor end-of-life recycling rates for many metals Only for a limited number of metals, like iron/steel, palladium and platinum , could rates above 50% be stated Many metals show rates below 25%, or even below 1% (for many specialty metals) Serious data gaps on stocks in society and recycling rates have to be closed Enhanced recycling rates could help to reduce environmental pressures (GHG emissions, water and land consumption, waste, pressure on biodiversity), and it is crucial to secure sustainable supply of critical metals Improved recycling schemes will give many people new jobs and a living

30 Thank you for your attention. For more information: resorucepanel@unep
Thank you for your attention. For more information:

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