Resources, including minerals and metals, underpin the world’s economies for almost all sectors, providing crucial raw materials for their industrial processes. Despite efforts to decouple economies from resource use towards a circular economy, demand for extractive resources will continue to grow on the back of emerging economies. This report maps existing international governance frameworks and initiatives which have overlapping subsets that focus on delivering the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Current trends depict an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation. Renewables have moved to the centre of the global energy landscape. Technological advances and falling costs have made renewables grow faster than any other energy source. Many renewable technologies are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels in the power sector, even before taking into account their contributions to the battles against air pollution and climate change. These trends are creating an irreversible momentum for a global energy transformation leading to shifts that will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences.
This report published by IRENA's Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Energy & Industry, and the German Federal Foreign Office looks into these developments from a foreign policy perspective.
In order to help address escalating violence, UN Environment has launched the UN Initiative for Environmental Defenders. This brief analyses the initiative and looks into how member states can support peace by engaging in environmental diplomacy, with a focus on Brazil.
There is broad agreement that climate change represents a threat to sustainable development; consequently, development efforts must be resilient to the impacts of climate change and related disaster risks in order to be sustainable. This is the first in a series of briefs focusing on alignment of country efforts under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Working with over 30 partners, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently launched the Resource Watch. The platform provides a wide array of data sets on various sustainability topics, ranging from food security to urban climate challenges.
"From Riches to Rags?" looks into the subject of stranded assets in the fossil fuel sector. Stranded assets are assets that lose value, or generate new liabilities, before they reach the end of their (planned) economic life. In this paper, assets primarily refer to fossil fuel resources (oil, gas and coal) that need to stay in the ground because otherwise the 2-degree target specified in the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised.
At the Paris Climate Conference held in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement – the first universal, legally binding global climate deal. The signatory parties committed themselves to a global action plan that aims to keep global warming to well below 2°C and to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Catalysing the climate economy will be at the heart of climate diplomacy in the years to come. This infographic visualises the cascading benefits of climate action and the role of climate diplomacy.
The growing number and impact of extreme weather events has led to increasing awareness in the extractives industries of the potential negative impacts of climate change. The industry has started thinking about its own vulnerabilities and the risks climate change could pose. However, there has been little research and debate that takes a more comprehensive look at the links between climate change and mining. With the report Climate Change and Mining.
This report explores natural World Heritage sites, which, as large areas of habitat, play an important role in increasing resilience and providing vital protection against climate change impacts. Alarmingly, the report finds that almost half of these sites are currently threatened by operations such as mining, large-scale infrastructure or oil and gas exploration since too often short-term financial gain is favoured over long-term sustainable development.
This report focuses on energy-water conflicts which are linked to the coal industry's impact on current and future water demand. Published by Greenpeace International, the study features five case studies of water conflicts due to coal expansion and identifies regions in which already existing and planned coal plants will further aggravate water scarcity.
The International Conference on Climate Action (ICCA2015) brought together 450 participants from 27 countries to exchange on political strategies, framework conditions, and mechanisms for successful municipal climate action.
This research paper takes as its starting point the idea that neither conflict nor peace is an inevitable consequence of resource development in fragile or conflict-affected settings.
La Buena Vida- The Good Life (2015) tells the story of the small community Tamaquito in Guajíra, Columbia resisting the relocation plans of a coal mining company.
Natural Resources and Conflicts: A Guide for Mediation Practitioners. Nairobi. New York.