The International Resource Panel (IRP) was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2007 to build and share the knowledge needed to improve our use of resources worldwide. The idea of such a panel was proposed by the European Commission two years earlier in its Thematic Strategy on natural resources (COM(2005) 670) to contribute inter alia to building the knowledge base and monitoring progress on natural resource use globally.
In its now twenty years of existence, the IRP has produced a wide range of reports and assessments, covering issues such as renewable energy, biofuels, food, land, material flows and metals. It has also produced reports on e.g. resource efficiency and the economy (under request of G7 Leaders in 2015) and on global resource use (presented at the third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi on 4-6 December 2017).
The European Commission has been financially supporting the work of the IRP and is co-chairing the Panel's Steering Committee, composed of the representatives of governments and international organisations (e.g. the OECD). Currently, one of the two Co-Chairs of the Panel is former Research and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.
On 13 November 2017, on the margin of the twenty-third Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change, the International Resource Panel, the German Government and the European Commission organised a side event on 'The importance of resource efficiency in the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement'. The report on the side event, attended among others by Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, is available here.