Episode 14

Material world: Using resources sustainably in a time of planetary crises


In this episode of "Green Deal – Big Deal?", we tackle the complex world of natural resources, a topic that underpins many aspects of Europe's ambition for a green future.

In conversation with guests Janez Potočnik, Co-chair of the International Resources Panel, and Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of European Commission’s DG Environment, hosts Aaron Best and Ewa Iwaszuk discuss how the use of natural resources is closely linked to the climate and biodiversity crises, highlighting the global nature of resource use and its impacts. 

The episode touches on the European Green Deal's approach to resource management, emphasizing the need for a systemic perspective that considers the interconnectedness of resource use, environmental impacts, and economic activity. Florika Fink-Hooijer shares her views on the importance of understanding the links between climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion and advocates for sustainable and efficient resource use and extraction as a means to tackle these interconnected challenges. Janez Potočnik provides a global perspective on the issue, discussing the work of the International Resources Panel and the upcoming Global Resource Outlook. He stresses the importance of a systems-based approach to address resource challenges, moving beyond GDP growth as a measure of success to focus on meeting human needs more efficiently and sustainably. 

The conversation also explores the European Union's role in leading global resource policy and the circular economy. We discuss the geopolitical and economic implications of resource scarcity, the importance of resilience and sustainability in policy making, and the potential of the European Green Deal to inspire global action towards a more sustainable use of resources. Finally, the episode addresses the critical role of global cooperation in managing resources, highlighting the need for policies that support sustainable development and ensure that resource use is aligned with environmental goals. 

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Webinar series 

Listening to our podcast is nice, but not enough for you? In addition to the podcast series, we organized a series of eight online events, targeting young Europeans aged 18-35.  The recordings of these webinars are available online. 

Would you like to learn more?

Are you interested in environmental issues or European policy? Would you like to understand what the European Green Deal is and how will it impact our lives in the years to come? Check out other episodes of our podcast.

Webinar Series

 Listening is nice, but not enough for you? You are in luck! In addition to the podcast series, we are organizing a series of eight online events, targeting young Europeans aged 18-35. Enter the dialogue with us and our invited experts. We are keen to hear your questions, suggestions and ideas and discuss them together.