GLOBAL RESOURCES OUTLOOK REPORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     21st February 2024        
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Context: The 2024 edition of the Global Resources Outlook Report will be tabled at the 6th UN Environment Assembly which is to be held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Global Resources Outlook Report

  • About: It represents a leading report from the International Resource Panel of UNEP.
  • Launched in: 2019
  • Published by:  International Resource Panel of UN.
  • Aim: To offer consistent updates regarding the condition, effects, and future prospects of global resource utilization.


  • About: UNEP operates as a specialized agency within the United Nations system.
  • Origin: UNEP was established following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972.
  • Function: To facilitate and coordinate environmental efforts across the United Nations.

oUNEP bears overarching responsibility for addressing and managing environmental challenges within the United Nations' various agencies.

Highlights of the Report

  • Global Consumption: Projected to surge by 60% by 2060, already four times higher than levels recorded in 1970.
  • Technosphere: Comprising human-made products from airports to Zimmer frames, outweighing the biosphere since 2020.
  • Equity over GDP: Emphasizing equity and human wellbeing metrics over sole GDP growth.
  • Anti-Green Production: Advocates for reducing overall demand rather than solely increasing "green" production.
  • Critical Mineral Demand: Relies on 'strategic and critical minerals,' demanding more energy for extraction. For instance, electric vehicles require nearly 10 times more critical raw materials than conventional cars.
  • Net Zero Transport: Achieving zero transport emissions by 2050 necessitates a six-fold increase in critical mineral extraction within 15 years.
  • Extractive Activities: Extractive activities like mining disrupt the planet's ecosystem balance.
  • Decline in Urban Mining: Current economic structures favor cheaper and simpler extractive mining over urban mining, a process that retrieves waste from landfills for recycling and reuse, often requiring complex, state-enforced waste regulation.
  • Extractive Mining Economics: Cheaper extraction due to inexpensive land in developing nations.
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