Th.Ruddy's Report
from the Meeting on Trade and Raw Materials


Mr. Van Stoten from Business Europe referred to a new report entitled "The world in 2025. Rising Asia and socio-ecological transition" , which can be viewed on Scribd. He made an argument on this that the EU was too small to be able to improve things much globally. Therefore, he reasoned, we need better global governance of raw materials.

Thomas Ruddy referred him to the Resource Panel that we had had presenting at the  in Davos Switzerland. Ruddy also explained the workshop on scarce metals initiated by Patrick Waeger, and the new study on the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of biofuels done with UNEP.

A debate erupted on the advisability of imposing a Border Tax Adjustment (BTA) to prevent carbon leakage if attempts to sign a post-Kyoto agreement fail in Copenhagen in December.

Friends of the Earth Europe was represented on the panel by Michael Warhurst. He had a copy of SERI's new paper entitled "How to measure Europe's resource use: An analysis for Friends of the Earth Europe" is downloadable here in PDF. It clearly differentiates between the Thematic Strategy on Natural Resources (2005, renewal forthcoming in 2010) and the Raw Materials Initiative (2008).

For a wider audience SERI has issued a more popular brochure with FOEE, which criticizes the EU's Raw Materials Initiative. The report is called OVERCONSUMPTION? Our use of the world's natural resources. It is downloadable here in PDF.

SERI  is involved in research with the EIPOT project on the Environmental Impact of Trade, which has just issued its final report.

SERI's view is that the foremost goal of the EU should be to increase resource efficiency dramatically, and to reduce the demand for the consumption of raw materials (through more recycling e.g.). Of course, that will not be able to replace fully the imports into Europe. Therefore, if it is important to ensure such access to raw materials in other parts of the world, especially in developing countries, then it should be done in strict adherence to ecological and social sustainability standards.

Updated: 17th Oct. 2009

Surf back up to SERI member page Thomas Ruddy

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