The mineral resource needs of the future will be different to those of the past and present. Delivering the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and implementing the COP 21 Paris Agreement to decarbonise the global economy will alter and add significantly to the demand for metals and minerals by both developed and developing countries. Our growing global population rightly expects greater prosperity and more equitable access to resources, and is becoming more industrialised and urbanised.
We are only beginning to understand the challenge of meeting these needs in a way which is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. Meeting this challenge will depend on cutting-edge research across the geosciences and in other disciplines, including engineering, economics and social sciences – and will require engagement with industry, the financial community, policy-makers and the wider public.
Introducing our Year of Resources running throughout 2018, this meeting will bring together a wide community of geoscientists and others to explore how we can address this challenge, and start to develop a roadmap for this multidisciplinary effort.
It is held in conjunction with the IUGS Resourcing Future Generations initiative, and will inform the major IUGS conference on this topic to be held in Vancouver in June 2018.
Theme 1: Future demand
- Resource needs for the transition to a low carbon economy.
- Resource needs for global development.
- Impact of continued urbanisation.
Theme 2: Where will future resources come from?
- Where might we discover or access new geological resources?
- What are the barriers to their extraction?
- What is the possible contribution from recycling and improved design?
- What research is needed to address these questions?
Theme 3: Meeting the resource challenge responsibly
- What roles do geoscience and other disciplines have?
- Resource governance.
- Social responsibility and engagement.
- Sustainability – social, environmental and economic
Theme 4: Who do should we engage in this effort, and how?
- Raising public awareness.
- Building dialogue with policy makers (UK, EU, US) on future mineral needs, including critical minerals.
- Building a roadmap and an interdisciplinary community.