The consequences of natural resource scarcity are crystallizing into some of the most complex and urgent issues facing our world in the 21st century. Demographic trends, climate change, and expanding economic activities are among the key factors aggravating the scarcity of key natural resources – food, water, energy and minerals. In turn, price volatility and supply shortages threaten to increase poverty, intensify hunger, trigger domestic and international conflict, and induce economic stagnation.
Realizing the severity and complexity of resource scarcity is the first step toward effectively addressing the scarcity challenges lying ahead. What makes resource scarcity an extraordinary challenge are its far-reaching global effects and the manner in which the four resources are connected.
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Rob Weterings is team leader sustainability within Strategy and Change.
Marjolein de Ridder is a strategic analyst at HCSS. She holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Leuven and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Leiden University and the Clingendael Institute.