Prof. Dr. Raimund Bleischwitz is Co-Director on ‘Material Flows and Resource Management’ at the Wuppertal Institute (WI) in Germany, and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. Economist by training, Raimund has twenty years plus experience in research on environmental and resource economics, raw material conflicts, sustainability, resource efficiency, incentive systems and policies. Besides his current fellowship at AICGS, he has been a fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC and with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. His leadership record comprises multi-country evaluation and study teams. Raimund has written some 200 publications, including The Global Resource Nexus, International Resource Politics, International economics of resource efficiency, Sustainable resource management. Effective August 2013, he will become BHP Billiton Chair in Sustainable Global Resources at University College London.

While at AICGS, Prof. Dr. Bleischwitz worked on his project entitled “Topic: Managing risks related to the global competition for natural resources and the emerging green economy”:

Tight and volatile commodity markets are compounded by high demand from an expanding worldwide middle class, resource nationalism and environmental stress. Governing the global resource nexus – the interactions among using energy, minerals, water, food, and land – is especially challenging. Quite often, however, real actors’ strategies are either predominantly supply oriented (“raw materials strategy”, “unconventional hydrocarbon revolution”) or demand oriented (“resource efficiency”, “sustainable consumption and production”). Prof. Dr. Bleischwitz’s research underlines an integrative approach.

The USA, Germany and the EU should have a common interest to reduce risks related to the global competition for natural resources. Despite a few common approaches, however, many basic policies differ.

Aim of the fellowship is to analyze selected areas where better coordination seems both feasible and strategically relevant:

  • International trade policy (rare earths and the WTO dispute settlement process); analysis of the status quo and the arguments from all sides, plus feasible pathways towards better management of such critical materials.
  • Transparency (Dodd-Frank Act and Cardin-Lugar Amendment compared to a proposal made by the European Commission); examination of the implementation processes and the various costs and benefits involved for all actors, in particular industry.
  • Eco-innovation and resource efficiency in manufacturing seen as a pillar for a green economy; as this topic ranks very high in both Germany and Europe, Prof. Dr. Bleischwitz will investigate into potential interests and alliances in the US.

Prof. Dr. Bleischwitz is interested in insights about these ongoing processes in the US, their strategic implications, and outlooks, in particular from US Congress, White House, DoE, State Department, Think Tanks, NGOs, and Business.


Recent Essays