A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study has found that more efficient use of resource along with action on climate change, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 74%.
It would also lead to improved economic growth.
The International Resource Panel (IRP), composed of eminent scientists and experts in natural resource management has launched a summary of its upcoming report Resource Efficient: Potential and Economic Implications.
Based on new modelling carried out for the IRP by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Austria International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, projects that under existing trends such as population increase, urbanisation and expanding middle class will lead to natural resource extraction increasing from 85 billion to 186 billion tonnes over the next 35 years.
But resource efficiency policies and action on climate change could reduce global extraction by 28% while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 74% by 2050 relative to 2015 levels.
It would also add 1% to economic output in G7 countries and globally.
UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said: “The potential impact of greater resource efficiency on tackling climate change is massive.
“But building a resource-efficient economy will require all countries to change the way natural resources are used, managed and conserved.
“Only effective international cooperation can accelerate the transition to a resource-efficient future, which in turn will create new jobs and drive sustainable development.”