• English

INF.- Resource Revolution: Meeting the world’s energy, materials, food and water needs

Over the past century, progressively cheaper resources have underpinned global economic growth. Although demand for resources such as energy, food, water, and materials grew, this was offset by expanded supply and increases in the productivity with which supply was used. But that relatively benign picture has now changed. The unprecedented pace and scale of economic development in emerging markets means demand for resources is surging, and prices for most resources have risen since the turn of the century. Resource price inflation—and volatility—could increase as new supplies of some resources become more expensive to extract, resource prices become more linked, and environmental spillover effects impact crop yields and the availability of water. These trends could fuel protectionism and political unrest. The result? Without action to expand supply and boost resource productivity, the global economy could enter an era of higher, more volatile resource prices and increased risk of resource-related shocks. This would have negative consequences for economic growth, the welfare of citizens (particularly those on low incomes), public finances, and the...

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