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UNECE provides fresh impetus for European Union countries to enact sustainable resources management


There is overwhelming evidence that we need robust management and traceability for the sustainable and circular supply and use of climate-critical raw materials. Calls are increasing for the production of raw materials to embrace circularity. Demand for batteries and other low carbon technologies is expected to double present consumption in the coming decade.

Responding to this need, UNECE hosted a coalition of prominent energy professionals to train policymakers in sustainable resource management. Policymakers and experts from various EU countries participated in a dedicated UNECE Training Course on 4-5 April, to understand and learn how the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) can be applied in practice in primary and secondary raw materials. UNFC is a universally applicable scheme for the sustainable management of all energy and mineral resources.

European Union countries are expected to embrace the harmonisation of raw materials within the UNFC classification as the first widely accepted natural resource management system for classifying, managing and reporting natural resources globally. Experts foresee the introduction of a unified and holistic framework will lead to data becoming a basis for various analysis, and furthermore resource management decisions. 

The training was delivered by experts from UNECE’s Expert Group on Resource Management (EGRM). The work of EGRM supports European industry, higher education and governments to account for raw materials and ensure complete transparency and traceability along the value chain.

The training presented the flexible functionalities of UNFC to analyse socio-economical, technological and uncertainty aspects of minerals projects. In addition, commodity project case studies produced a practical guide for participants to de-risk projects and scale-up clean and affordable energy resource projects.

Freshly trained policymakers and experts from governments and have improved competencies and support groups to make sustainable resource management a reality. A hybrid approach of the EU Critical Raw Materials Database, UNFC, and national raw materials management can raise standards and improve consistency for further international cooperation.

UNECE offers a platform for inclusive and transparent dialogue, exchanges of best practices and lessons learned to support the sustainability of all natural resources. UNFC enables sustainable resource management decisions critical to delivering the United Nation’s Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Union’s Green Deal and Digital and Industrial Strategy.

This project was made possible thanks to funding from the European Union. The project supports UNECE member States in the development and implementation of the UNFC  and the UN Resource Management System (UNRMS).

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