A future recession could happen in the European Union if it does not get to grips with resource efficiency.
The Guardian newspaper reported that EU commissioner for the environment Janez Potočnik said that price spikes for rare resources could lead to future economic downturns.
He said: “We have simply no choice. We have to use what we have more efficiently, or we will fail to compete. Resource efficiency is a real competitiveness issue for European companies.
“If our current living standards are to be maintained, and the aspirations of developing countries satisfied, then the global economy will need to be changed drastically.
“If we want things to stay the same, things will have to change. This will be an enormous pressure on resources, which we are already overusing.”