Countries should report annually on resource efficiency says World Resources Forum

31 October, 2013

This year’s World Resources Forum (WRF) conference has recommended that countries should report annually on how their economies are developing with respect to resource efficiency. The conference was told there was an urgent need for robust knowledge and universal data transparency and that resource efficiency indicators needed to be defined more clearly to enable meaningful setting of targets and adequate monitoring of global use of resources.


More than 400 delegates from 53 countries attended the annual meeting of the WRF in Davos to discuss ways of improving global resource management and efficiency. This year, the focus was on resource efficiency and governance, sustainable business development, cities and infrastructure, and lifestyle and education. The three-day event resulted in a number of policy recommendations and proposed research activities designed to lead to greater resource efficiency across the globe.


The draft Chairman’s summary issued at the end of the three days of debate called for an urgent boost to investment in resource efficiency and said it was crucial to find alternatives to fossil fuels, metals and minerals for sustainable economic growth. It said the global supply of resources needs to be secured by improving multi-stakeholder cooperation and coordination at an international level, engaging governments, businesses, research and civil society.


It recommended reforms in the financial sector – which is seen as disconnected from the real economy – and developing fiscal and behavioural policies targeted at company and household level. The report said that taxes should be shifted shift away from renewable resources and labour to fossil fuels and suggested that a tenfold increase in resource productivity was feasible through financial reforms and incentives. Key recommended business tools and market strategies include sustainable product and service design, and waste prevention and recycling, for which adequate mixes of policy instruments – financial, legislative and informative – need to be implemented.


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Conference summary