A girl collecting sand for sale in Kpogan, Prefecture du Golfe, Togo.
Photo: K. Pratt/FAO

29.10.2018

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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.

A preview of The Global Material Resource Outlook to 2060 sees global materials use rising from 90 Gigatonnes today to 167 Gigatonnes in 2060 as the world population soars to 10 billion people and average global income per capita rises to converge with the current Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) level of USD 40,000.

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.

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.

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