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Symposium 2011

Shaping a Global Resource Strategy

The Challenge

With increasing public awareness of climate and sustainability issues and prices for fossil energy sources rising, green technologies have emerged as a viable and promising field for business growth as well as for distinctive policy-making. Previously neglected by mainstream political agendas, governments and companies, nowadays initiatives to foster a “Green New Deal” are widespread—mostly in resource-dependent countries and regions such as the European Union, the United States, China and Japan.

Green technologies are heavily dependent on numerous limited mineral resources, the supply of which mainly originates in developing or emerging countries. Access to these resources has thus gained strategic importance for technology businesses and the countries in which they are based.

For example, debate about China’s quasi-monopoly in the market for “rare earths” has triggered a reorientation towards resource policy, so far culminating in considerations about interlinking development aid with resource contracts.

Without supranational coordination and a timely combination of policies on the one hand and a shift in the focus of businesses to resource-efficient and sustainable business practices on the other hand, a race for mineral resources will evolve not only between companies but also between nations.

Are market forces sufficient to induce green business practices or do governments need to establish an appropriate political framework? Which characteristics must a global level playing field in the international mineral resources market exhibit to ensure fair development conditions? Is the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative sufficient to provide good governance in extraction countries, taking account of the widespread detrimental effects of exploration and exploitation of resource deposits, such as environmental degradation and geopolitical conflicts?

What is the role of renewable energy companies in ensuring that their demand for strategic minerals does not foster a “resource curse” in the exporting countries? Are any mineral resources likely to be indispensable for sustainable development technologies? How big is the potential for substitution? Are “closed loop supply chains” feasible across industries to boost resource efficiency? Is it necessary to expand a company’s product responsibility horizon to encompass the entire lifecycle?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Support resource-rich countries in implementing good governance structures by developing a set of best practices that address disclosure of information, technology advances and monitoring systems.

    Support resource-rich countries in implementing good governance structures by developing a set of best practices that address disclosure of information, technology advances and monitoring systems.

    Support resource-rich countries in implementing good governance structures by developing a set of best practices that address disclosure of information, technology advances and monitoring systems.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Pursue society-wide efforts to increase resource efficiency by appropriate incentives, scientific research and development of new production technologies as well as by reducing waste levels. Governments should be raising public ...

    Pursue society-wide efforts to increase resource efficiency by appropriate incentives, scientific research and development of new production technologies as well as by reducing waste levels. Governmen ...

    Pursue society-wide efforts to increase resource efficiency by appropriate incentives, scientific research and development of new production technologies as well as by reducing waste levels. Governments should be raising public awareness of resources and wastage and encouraging responsible behavior.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Governments should develop binding legislation in international resource markets and ensure transparent production and fair trade.

    Governments should develop binding legislation in international resource markets and ensure transparent production and fair trade.

    Governments should develop binding legislation in international resource markets and ensure transparent production and fair trade.

    Polity, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    National and international strategies need to take account of the diversity of resources: there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

    National and international strategies need to take account of the diversity of resources: there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

    National and international strategies need to take account of the diversity of resources: there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Ideas from Students of the Gymnasium Wellingdorf, Kiel

    Ideas from Students of the Gymnasium Wellingdorf, Kiel

    Ideas from Students of the Gymnasium Wellingdorf, Kiel

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Shaping a Global Resource Strategy - Solutions Proposed by John Feldmann

    Natural resources are limited and globally unevenly distributed. A number of national economies are based on availability of certain resources, others see their wealth and political power based on the ...

    Natural resources are limited and globally unevenly distributed. A number of national economies are based on availability of certain resources, others see their wealth and political power based on their natural resources. Beyond short-term considerations it should be obvious for any country, that a most efficient use and fair trade would be long term beneficial for the whole world. Although there has so far been only limited success in agreeing and practicing certain global standards for fair trade, we cannot afford to give up. Research needs to focus more on efficient use of resources. Fair trade and related pricing will

    Polity, Academia, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Shaping a Global Resource Strategy

    Increasing resource efficiency Improving the efficiency of resources used across industries involves at least three complementary measures: Businesses need to develop new production technologies and a ...

    Increasing resource efficiency Improving the efficiency of resources used across industries involves at least three complementary measures: Businesses need to develop new production technologies and adjust existing ones in order to expand substitution possibilities on the one hand and reduce waste levels on the other hand. Additionally, the research community is called upon to generate new knowledge through fundamental research that may enable technological leaps. But resource efficiency also demands a society-wide rethinking of consumption habits and a reappraisal of resources and wastage. For this purpose, policy needs to initiate communication processes, in order to raise public awareness of resource

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Resource Politics for a Fair Global Green Deal: Reduce, Recycle and Regulate!

    Natural resources are fundamental to economic activity and everyday life. Alongside tackling climate change and global poverty, using resources sustainably and distributing them fairly across the glob ...

    Natural resources are fundamental to economic activity and everyday life. Alongside tackling climate change and global poverty, using resources sustainably and distributing them fairly across the globe is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Many resources are finite. This is especially true of fossil fuels, the continuing large-scale combustion of which is accelerating climate change. The “Green New Deal” rightly calls for decoupling from the fossil resource base. It must, however, be emphasised that the new technologies also consume finite resources (f. e. lithium). In debating the green industrial revolution we must therefore consider what new dependencies

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2011

    Shaping a Global Resource Strategy

    In an era of considerable economic activities that are leading to creation of a new socio-economic infrastructure with simultaneous increase in awareness of environment and sustainable development, su ...

    In an era of considerable economic activities that are leading to creation of a new socio-economic infrastructure with simultaneous increase in awareness of environment and sustainable development, sustainable extraction and utilization of mineral resources will be extremely crucial. Due to limitations, particularly associated with availability and difficulty in procuring resources within geographic boundaries, the governments are devising policies and strategies that would facilitate acquiring such resources from other regions. At the same time natural resource based transnational corporations are making huge investments in procuring such resources mostly housed in developing countries. With ‘New Green Deal’ being increasingly integrated in

    Polity, Business