IRP Co-Chairs Janez Potočnik and Izabella Teixeira give their perspectives on achieving decoupling while enabling the energy transition.

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      Izabella Teixeira (former Environment Minister of Brazil) and Janez Potočnik (former European Commissioner for Environment and Science) are colleagues as Co-Chairs of UNEP’s International Resource Panel. For over a decade, they have collaborated as friends in their respective roles as negotiators for sustainability‐related United Nations conferences and conventions. They have distilled that decade of experience into clear, science‐based and policy relevant principles informed by the research of the IRP.

      Building on their previous Co-Chair opinion pieces Building Biodiversity (2021), and Making Climate Targets Achievable (2022), Janez and Izabella apply IRP science and their own policy experience to material management for the energy transition. 

      The Co-Chairs suggest three solution pillars for effective transition material management – enabling policymakers to avoid risks, and make the most of opportunities:

      Pillar 1: Mitigate the underlying drivers of demand for transition materials

      Pillar 2: Apply all circular economy levers to transition materials and technologies that contain them

      Pillar 3: Supply transition materials in accordance with the highest environmental and social standards

      The Co-Chairs recommend clear next steps for national governments, and groups such as the G7 and G20, and suggest an innovative framework for future scientific modelling of transition material demand.

      Recommended citation: IRP (2023). Enabling the energy transition: Mitigating growth in material and energy needs and building a sustainable mining sector. Potočnik, J., Teixeira, I. An opinion piece of the International Resource Panel Co-Chairs.

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