Reimagining the Future of Development

Signal of the month

MAY 2023

Demand for copper is set to far outstrip supply

The green energy transition is highly reliant on copper usage, which poses a problem as analysts warn that the metal supply will not match the increasing demand in the future. There are just not enough copper deposits available. It is consequently estimated that the world will experience a nearly six million tons shortfall within the next ten years.

Why it matters for development  
With Goldman Sachs noting that a "net-zero emissions" path would require an additional 54% of copper by the decade's end, prices are set to soar. This would have an impinging effect on the realization of a scaled-up clean energy transition, specifically in developing countries already grappling with the post-Covid realities of a cost-of-living crisis coupled with additional financial stressors caused by the war in Ukraine.

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closeup photo of copper

Our vision

Hi I’m Achim Steiner. Welcome to this site, intended for everyone who is interested in the future of development.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals provide us with a north star to guide our choices towards a better, fairer future for all. Yet as I reflect on the future of development, it seems we are entering a civilizational moment, when we must redefine what is “normal”, rethink our current paradigms and re-examine the choices we are making.

In a world of nearly 10 billion people, we can all play a role. We need to move from incremental to transformative action.

Neither UNDP nor the UN can do this in isolation. We recognise ourselves as part of a broader community that seeks to deepen the conversation and tap the wisdom and experience of those at the cutting edge of change.

This site is an evolving space to share reflections and provocations on the future of development. I hope it will provide food for thought on the choices we are all making – governments, business, individuals and societies - that can transform development in the 21st century.

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Achim Steiner’s Reflections for the Future of Development

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