Resource efficiency will define international competitiveness, says UN Environment Programme boss


United Nations Environment Programme executive director Achim Steiner has said that resource efficiency will be essential for competitiveness in certain parts of the world.

In an interview with the European Union’s policy broadcaster vieuws, he also identified that public policy will need to document the costs of acting and not acting on resource efficiency to give a signal to economies of the benefits of resource efficiency.


The interview took place ahead of the United Nations September Summit that will decide on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be attained by 2030.

It is expected that resource efficiency will be a key part of this.

He said: “Resource efficiency, resource productivity are going to be at the heart of defining, not only competitiveness, many would argue in certain parts of the world the capacity to innovate.

“I think what we have seen in recent years is that the shortest and most efficient way for public policy to send signals into the economy is to actually document the true costs and benefits of not acting or acting.

“From there, you can define targets that have to do with resource efficiency and resource productivity.” 

Watch the full interview here