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New UNEP Launch on the Future of the Clean-Tech Revolution
11/ 05/ 2010

New UNEP Launch on the Future of the Clean-Tech Revolution11 May 2010 - Global demand for metals like copper and aluminum has doubled in the past 20 years. Unless recycling rates are intensified for these and other critical metals, they will be unavailable for future use. This is among the findings of two new UN reports entitled Metals Recycling Rates and Metals in Society.

Global demand for metals, from common ones such as iron and copper to specialty, high-tech and rare earth metals, has been rising sharply over recent years and will continue to climb into the foreseeable future.

Apart from some exceptions, recycling rates are modest or low and in some cases almost non-existent. This has implications for the environment but perhaps even more importantly for the future growth of high-tech components, clean technologies and a global transition to a Green Economy.

The International Panel on Sustainable Resource Management, hosted by UNEP, will today present startling findings on the amount of metals 'above ground' as opposed those still in the ground, alongside estimated recycling rates for dozens of metals.

It will also underline the risks to the environment and the economy from current unsustainable patterns, alongside opportunities if recycling rates are massively stepped up.

The findings feed into intergovernmental discussions this week in New York at the UN's Commission on Sustainable Development and next week's preparatory consultations on the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in 2012.

The reports will be launched by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, and Thomas Graedel, Professor of Industrial Ecology of Yale University at a press conference on 13 May 2010 at 12:30 pm (EST) at the United Nations Press Centre (Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium) in New York.

For More Information and to Attend the Press Conference Please Contact:
Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson/Head of Media, on Nick.Nuttall@unep.org, Tel: Mobile +254 (0)733632755 or when traveling +41 79 596 5737

Jim Sniffen, UNEP Information Officer in New York, on Tel: +1-212-963-8094 or +1-917-742-2218, sniffenj@un.org.

Information on UN Media Accreditation can be found at www.un.org/media/accreditation/

Further Resources
UNEP: Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) - Energy Branch