Resource Governance for the 21st Century – Report by the Green Alliance
High and volatile resource prices have been identified as one of the key macroeconomic trends of the 21st century. Such was the success of resource production in the 20th century that, in the standard theory of economics, resource availability is simply assumed. But the sharp rise in resource price volatility since 2000 is a significant threat to economic and environmental stability, undermining businesses’ ability to plan ahead. The price inflation it causes also filters down to consumers, affecting the cost of living.
Resource Risk & Government Support
The government can help to mitigate these risks and departments have the necessary policy levers at their disposal. But there has been a conspicuous lack of support to improve resource security in the UK, compared with other major manufacturing economies. This has led to questions about whether there is an effective framework for developing resource policy within central government, especially in the light of other high profile government decisions which undermine resource policy objectives. Perhaps most damning of these is the Treasury’s lack of support for a review of resource risk following a National Security Council discussion in 2012.
Resource Governance Report Content
In this report, we analyse the range of potential institutional arrangements available and we assess their strengths and weaknesses. Our conclusions draw on the results of published research and our own programme of expert interviews and discussions. Well formulated institutional structures would decrease the likelihood of unforeseen crises and hasty, poorly thought through policy responses. In a political context characterised by the need to reduce government expenditure and deliver growth, better institutions can help politicians to balance long term challenges and short term priorities. The right governance framework is a necessary condition for the development and delivery of effective resource policy. The economy will benefit from higher productivity and job growth. Businesses will benefit from new opportunities and improved competitiveness in the global market. And we will all benefit from the preservation of natural capital.