The world’s consumption of raw materials is set to nearly double by 2060 as the global economy expands and living standards rise, placing twice the pressure on the environment that we are seeing today, according to a new OECD report.
Without concrete actions to address these challenges, the projected increase in the extraction and processing of raw materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals is likely to worsen pollution of air, water and soils, and contribute significantly to climate change.
The increase comes despite a shift from manufacturing to service industries and continual improvements in manufacturing efficiency, which has lessened the amount of resources consumed for each unit of GDP.
Without this, environmental pressures would be worse.
The projection also takes account of flattening demand in China and other emerging economies as their infrastructure booms end.
The preview report, presented at the in Yokohama, Japan by OECD Deputy Secretary General Masamichi Kono, says the biggest rises in resource consumption will be in minerals, including construction materials and metals, particularly in fast-growing developing economies.
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