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Natural resources

Natural resources are the essential backbone of our European economy and underpin the quality of life to which we have grown accustomed. For centuries, we have transformed raw materials such as fuels, minerals and metals to build the modern society that we now enjoy. Natural resources such as food, water, air, biomass and our entire ecosystem are equally crucial to our daily lives and its preservation has long-term implications for us. Reduced access to our natural resources and dependency on other regions could limit the growth prospects of our economies and degrade the quality and harmony of life in our ecosystem.

Economic growth

Economic growth has traditionally been attributed to the accumulation of human and physical capital together with increased productivity arising from technological advancements. This has been the fundamental driver for our human development . In turn, as a producing and consuming society, our economic growth has had an undeniable effect on our environment and the quantity and quality of the resources available to us.


We have now reached a stage where the progress and well-being of our societies can only be achieved if we are able to decouple resource consumption from human development and well-being. Our requirements to function as a prosperous society must be met without damaging the environment that we depend on for life. We need to learn how to do more – much more – with less or more sustainable input while producing much less or zero waste.

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