UNEP World Resources Forum

Steiner announces increased UNEP – WRF cooperation

achim steinerNairobi, June 21 2013 In a letter to the WRF Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, has expressed his wish to explore ways for increasing the cooperation between UNEP, in particular its International Resource Panel (IRP), and the WRF.

There are in particular opportunities for disseminating the work of the IRP to a wide arrange of stakeholders, so he writes, reflecting on the outcomes of the recent meeting of the IRP, held in Berlin.

In the plenary sessions of the upcoming WRF 2013, to be held in Davos, 7-9 October, UNEP will be represented by the highest official of the Paris office, Sylvie Lemmet, who oversees the IRP as well as the SCP Marrakech process and other global issues regarding technology, trade, industry and economics.

The IRP will organise workshops respectively on metals and on city level decoupling, at WRF 2013.  The chair and many IRP members will have active speaking roles in the various sessions in Davos, and will be available for bilateral talks with participants. UNEP IRP logo

“I strongly believe”, writes Achim Steiner, “that the question of governance of natural resources constitutes a critical factor in addressing the 21st century challenge of moving towards sustainable resource management. In this framework, the role played by the World Resources Forum and its partnership with the UNEP-hosted International Resource Panel (IRP) is indeed key.” He announces new publications, including on City-level Decoupling, Metals Impact, Metals Recycling Opportunities, Sustainable Land Management and Decoupling.

In a response WRF Managing Director Bas de Leeuw, a former Paris based UNEP diplomat, then responsible for IRP and Marrakech process, says to be humbled and honored by UNEPs proposed increased cooperation. “UNEP is the authorative body on the global level in the issues of resource management, and well respected for inspiring new ways and concepts, such as the Green Economy, and for mobilising the best expertise available, to tackle the enormous challenges we face. Having such partner in our family and with such commitment is the best one could wish for.”

Find here all about UNEP and its International Resource Panel.

Conferences Sustainability Institute

Copenhagen must deliver emission cuts at or beyond current proposals

Copenhagen, 9 December 2009 Independent analyses of current mitigation proposals on the table in Copenhagen by Nicholas Stern, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Ecofys, Climate Analytics, the Sustainability Institute (C-ROADS), the European Climate Foundation and ClimateWorks (Project Catalyst) all point to the same conclusion: the negotiations must deliver the high-end of current proposals, and stretch beyond them, if the world is to have a reasonable chance of containing warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, or the 1.5°C goal of many developing nations.

There is a narrow window of opportunity to have the possibility of achieving the global political and scientific consensus of avoiding a global warming of more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels or the 1.5°C goal of 100 developing nations. The concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing everyday and, without significant reductions in emissions, will soon reach levels at which the consequent changes in the Earth’s climate will have very serious, and potentially disastrous and irreversible, impacts.

Full press release here.

This statement is supported by and may be attributed to:

– Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

– Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

– Bill Hare, Director, Climate Analytics

– Niklas Hahne, Director Energy and Climate Policy, Ecofys

– Bas de Leeuw, Executive Director, Sustainability Institute, C-ROADS

– Andreas Merkl, Director of Global Initiatives at ClimateWorks and Project Catalyst leader

– Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the European Climate Foundation


Initiating the International Resource Panel

Dennis Meadows and Bas de Leeuw in Budapest

Budapest/Nairobi/Paris, 9 November 2007 – Assessing the environmental risks of biofuel production and metal recycling are two of the issues likely to top the agenda of a newly formed global think tank on resource efficiency. Launched here today at the World Science Forum, the new “International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management” will provide scientific assessments and expert advice on the use intensity, the security of supplies and the environmental impacts of selected products and services on a global level.

“Climate change rightly tops the environmental agenda at the moment, but the world faces more inconvenient truths that must be addressed,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which has established the panel.

“Economic growth in our modern times cannot be achieved with old consumption and production patterns,” he said. “We need to provide a boost to resource-efficient growth and innovation. We need to break the links between economic growth and environmental degradation, and finding ways to achieve this “decoupling” is what the new resource panel is all about.”

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker, Ismail Seregeldin

“Quadrupling resource-productivity worldwide (doubling wealth while halving resource use) is the smoothest avenue to sustainable development,” according to Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker, Co-chair of the Panel.  “We all agree that a lot more economic wealth is needed for six and a half billion people let alone nine billion people that we expect to live on earth by the middle of this century.”

It was a pleasure to develop and design the Panel from its conception, and manage the Secretariat until I left UNEP in 2009, having worked with such renowned scientists and great leaders as Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker and many others.

Bas de Leeuw and Janet Salem, Rome

UNEP staff members who did more than their share included Janet Salem, Guido Sonnemann and Inhee Chung.

Read full press release.

See the overview of the meetings and latest info and publications here.