Africa: New 'Hotspots' Tool Pinpoints Unsustainable Consumption and Production

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press release

UN Environment launched in March 2019 a new tool that allows countries to see "hotspots" of unsustainable practices in consumption and production.

The tool, known as the Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool, is an online application that analyses the environmental and socio-economic performance of 171 countries over the past 25 years to provide scientific evidence of areas where improvement can be made.

The tool builds on a powerful national footprint calculator that combines environmental and socio-economic data with trade information. It allows the tracing of environmental pressures and impacts along the supply chain of the goods and services consumed within a given country, an essential dimension of our globalized economy.

"For a long time, we have known that we need to change the way we produce and consume goods and services to make better use of the planet's natural resources. Now we have a tool that pinpoints where we need to be taking action if we want to make truly impactful change," said Ligia Noronha, Director of UN Environment's Economy Division.

"It is appropriate to launch this new tool against the backdrop of the Fourth UN Environment Assembly, where we are focusing on innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production.

"In that spirit, we hope that this innovative hotspots analysis tool helps put us on a more equitable and sustainable path."

The tool integrates a wide range of data on raw material use, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, air pollution and health, land use and biodiversity loss. It provides data at national level as well as for 26 standard sectors.

The tool was tested by Argentina, Ivory Coast and Kazakhstan during the development phase, to ensure policy relevance and user-friendliness. It will be further tested in Bhutan and Rwanda in 2019.

The Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspots Analysis Tool was developed by UN Environment, the One Planet Network, and the Life Cycle Initiative, in partnership with the International Resource Panel, Vienna University and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, with the support of the European Commission and Norway.

The tool, intended for use by policy experts, statisticians and the general public, can be accessed here:

About the One Planet Network

The One Planet network has formed to implement the commitment of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership for sustainable development, generating collective impact through its six programmes: Public procurement, Buildings and construction, Tourism, Food systems, Consumer information, and Lifestyles and education.

The strategic objective of the One Planet network for the period 2018-2022 is to be recognized as the lead mechanism to support and implement the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns, contributing as an effective implementing mechanism of Goal 12--Responsible consumption and production--of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

About the International Resource Panel

The International Resource Panel was launched by UN Environment in 2007 to build and share the knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide.

The Panel consists of eminent scientists, highly skilled in resource management issues. Their reports distil the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic findings around global resource use. They provide advice and connections between policymakers, industry and the community on ways to improve global and local resource management. The Panel includes scientists and governments from both developed and developing regions, civil society, industrial and international organizations.

The Panel's goal is to steer us away from overconsumption, waste and ecological harm to a more prosperous and sustainable future.

About the Life Cycle Initiative

The Life Cycle Initiative is a public-private, multi-stakeholder partnership enabling the global use of credible life cycle knowledge by private and public decision makers to achieve global sustainability goals faster and more efficiently. Hosted by UN Environment, the Life Cycle Initiative provides a global forum to ensure science-based support to decisions and policies towards the shared vision of sustainability as a public good. It delivers authoritative opinion on sound tools and approaches by engaging its multi-stakeholder partnership (including governments, businesses, scientific and civil society organizations, and individuals).

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