Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060

Economic Drivers and Environmental Consequences

image of Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060

This report presents global projections of materials use and their environmental consequences, providing a quantitative outlook to 2060 at the global, sectoral and regional levels for 61 different materials (biomass resources, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals). It explains the economic drivers determining the decoupling of economic growth and materials use, and assesses how the projected shifts in sectoral and regional economic activity influence the use of different materials. The projections include both primary and secondary materials, which provides a deeper understanding of what drives the synergies and trade-offs between extraction and recycling.

The report projects a doubling of global primary materials use between today and 2060. Population and converging per capita income growth drive the growth in materials use. However, structural change, especially in non-OECD countries, and technology improvements partially dampen that growth. Metals and non-metallic minerals are projected to grow more rapidly than other types of materials.


Modelling future materials use and its economic drivers

This chapter presents the rationale and policy background for this material resources outlook, including the methodology behind the projections of materials use to 2060. Specifically, it outlines the main economic model and explains how materials have been linked to the economic flows in the model. As the projections presented in this report reflect a baseline scenario, this chapter also explains the nature of such scenarios and the policy assumptions that are included in this particular scenario. The chapter concludes with a roadmap of the report to guide the reader through the various chapters and steps of the analysis.


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