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UNECE Resource Classification Week 2017: On the verge of transformative changes in resource management

The world is witnessing a new revolution driven by various trends and technologies, and the race is on for new transformative models in energy and material flows. These transformations are shaped by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate action. As new policies, approaches and business models emerge to reshape production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems, modernized and unified ways of managing the resulting energy and material flows are needed. More than 300 experts will participate in a series of meetings during the UNECE Resource Classification Week 2017, 24–28 April, in Geneva to discuss these and related challenges.

The United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) is a global tool for consistent and coherent classification and efficient management of all extractive and energy activities. It is applicable to solid minerals, petroleum, uranium and thorium, geothermal energy and for injection projects for geological storage of CO2. Significant progress has been made to broaden UNFC’s application to other renewable energy systems, including bioenergy and solar, hydro and wind energy.  Estimating and classifying renewable energy resources in a representative and consistent manner is becoming a pressing need for the renewable energy industry and its stakeholders, as well as for energy investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

The UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC), which oversees UNFC, is an open platform for its development and for sharing knowledge and experience in sustainable resource management. The UNECE Resource Classification Week 2017 will feature the 8th session of the EGRC with participation by experts involved with coal, minerals, petroleum, anthropogenic resources, renewable energies and injection projects. Government representatives from over 60 countries, as well as international organizations, professional societies and associations, industry, financial experts, academia and civil society will attend the meetings.

Aligning natural resource development to the 2030 Agenda is an imperative for governments and industry. Ensuring sustainability is not an end in itself, but a process accompanied by intertwined opportunities and challenges. Increasing productivity, aiming for ‘zero waste’ and deriving net environmental and social benefits are some of the numerous benefits foreseen from application of UNFC.

The meetings during the week will report on progress on many activities: the development of guidelines for integrating social and environmental considerations; competent person requirements; continuing work on renewable energy; anthropogenic resources; and the alignment of UNFC to the 2030 Agenda. There will be a special focus on renewable energy with a dedicated session discussing all aspects related to the development of a global classification and management system for renewable energy resources.

Several sub-groups and task forces will have their annual meetings during the week including the Technical Advisory Group, Nuclear Fuel Resources Task Force led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Anthropogenic Resources sub-group led by the European Union funded project Mining the European Anthroposphere (MINEA).

For more information, visit: http://unece.org/energy/se/reserves.html

or contact Hari Tulsidas at: reserves.energy@unece.org