International conference with the Veolia Institute to focus on strategic materials for a low-carbon future

17 February 2017

© Oxford Martin School

The Oxford Martin School is to work with the Veolia Institute to convene a high-level international conference later this year on resource availability, focusing on strategic materials for a low-carbon future.

Our current economic development has been based on an increasingly unsustainable exploitation and use of natural resources. World extraction of material resources has tripled over the past 40 years and is expected to at least double with the development of emerging economies. The transition to a low carbon economy and energy system needed to prevent dangerous climate change will increase demand for some key minerals and strategic materials.

The conference will convene experts from developed and developing countries to look at how we can ensure the availability of these resources, considering questions of environmental impact, governance, economics, innovation and geopolitics.

The conference is the 10th held by the Veolia Institute, an independent environmental think-tank founded by Veolia in 2001, and aims to build bridges between the academic community, policy-makers, civil society leaders, business leaders, financiers, and entrepreneurs.

Achim Steiner, Director of the Oxford Martin School, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Veolia Institute to bring together experts from across the globe to discuss this crucial issue and explore scenarios for the future. From resource availability to new materials and circular economy/recycling concepts, we are in urgent need of reassessing future pathways.”

Dinah Louda, Executive Director of the Veolia Institute, said: “Joining forces with the Oxford Martin School will be of great value to foster a timely and high-level debate and to convene a wide array of prominent academics, thought leaders and change makers on these essential but insufficiently discussed issues.”

Image: Dinah Louda and Achim Steiner sign the conference memorandum of understanding.