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Decoupling Natural Resource Use and Environmental Impacts from Economic Growth

  • Author: UNEP
  • Publication date: July 2011
  • Page count: 152
  • Language(s) in this book: English
  • Sales number: 11.III.D.9

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About the product

With the growth of both population and prosperity, especially in developing countries, the prospect of much higher resource consumption levels is far beyond what is likely sustainable — if realized at all — given finite world resources. Already the world is running out of cheap and high quality sources of some essential materials such as oil, copper and gold, the supplies of which, in turn, require ever-rising volumes of fossil fuels and freshwater to produce. Improving the rate of resource productivity faster than the economic growth rate is the notion behind decoupling. That goal, however, demands an urgent rethinking of the links between resource use and economic prosperity, buttressed by a massive investment in technological, financial and social innovation, to at least freeze per capita consumption in wealthy countries and help developing nations follow a more sustainable path.