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New ‘hotspots’ tool pinpoints unsustainable consumption and production

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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: http://scp-hat.lifecycleinitiative.org/.