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Report on resource efficiencies and green economies

The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) has produced the first complete world atlas of resource use - "Green economies around the world? Implications of resource use for development and the environment".

This study looks at the history of global resource flows around the world, revealing the development of resource use and resource efficiency for all countries in the last 30 years. It was mainly financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). It says that resource efficiency has increased in many countries in the past thirty years but the  efficiency gains are thus more than compensated by economic growth. This increasing thirst for materials leads to social and ecological conflicts – especially when the true costs of growing demand for increasingly scarce natural resources are exported to other countries and regions. The report argues that, in particular, rich industrialised countries’ resource use must be circumscribed. This can only be achieved with a radical and rapid change in policy, economy and society. Long-term political targets are urgently required. In addition, a fundamental change in societal values and norms-especially in the rich industrialised countries- is required. We need new ways of living and consuming, and should ask ourselves this question: What is a good life, beyond material consumption?

You can download the report here.

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11 Jul 2012