Resource protection and resource efficiency are an ecological, economic and social necessity. Many resources are limited and under pressure from the rising world population, production methods, consumer behaviour and the high per capita resource consumption. Using more and more resources will exceed the limits of the earth’s ecological carrying capacity in the foreseeable future. This development requires appropriate and effective measures.
In its current "Resource Efficiency Programme III", the Federal Government commits to the goal of anchoring resource efficiency more strongly in international treaties, processes and institutions, and to examine options for action. At present, there are no salient international treaties or institutions hat channel and focus the political debate, particularly with regard to abiotic raw materials. Therefore, in the long term, the Federal Government pursues an international treaty on increasing resource efficiency.
The study analyses how global governance processes and international law can contribute to reducing resource consumption and making the utilisation of resources more efficient and effective. The study provides a stocktake and assessment of existing international law and of non-legal and certain non-governmental instruments and processes related to resource efficiency of abiotic raw materials and gives an assessment of governance proposals in academic literature. Finally, specific policy options are identified.