Moving towards a truly sustainable energy future means using the right energy resource where it makes sense. The United Nations Framework Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources 2009 (UNFC) is unique amongst the major resource classification schemes worldwide in that it is the only system that includes consideration of commerciality, social license and environmental impact equally with project feasibility and uncertainty. UNFC allows investors to make investments in energy projects based on principles of sustainability and concern for impact on the local community and the environment.
UNECE will assemble over 200 experts from countries of the UNECE region, as well as countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to discuss and further develop UNFC. The Expert Group on Resource Classification provides the only forum in the world where experts in resource classification covering solid minerals and petroleum, and now also renewables, meet and share information and ideas. Representatives from government institutions from both UNECE and non-UNECE member countries, industry, international organizations, professional associations and companies dealing with regulations, evaluation, classification, exploration, exploitation and investment in energy and mineral resources will all attend the Sixth Session of the Expert Group from 29 April to 1 May. A Workshop on UNFC with a special focus on Central Asia has been organized immediately before the Expert Group meeting.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will additionally meet jointly with UNECE on 27–28 April to continue development of guidelines for the application of UNFC to uranium and thorium projects. IAEA, in active collaboration with UNECE, finalized a Bridging Document between UNFC and the Nuclear Energy Agency/IAEA Uranium Classification, commonly known as the “Red Book”, that was endorsed by UNECE member States in November last year. This Bridging Document is helping to align the reporting of uranium and thorium resources with international good practices and bring overall consistency and clarity to the process. Eight case studies have been prepared for the meeting, including two from the United States, as well as from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Malawi and Niger. These case studies demonstrate that estimated quantities of uranium and thorium resources can be transparently transferred to UNFC.