Within the recent 40 years the that global material use has tripled over the past four decades, with annual global extraction of materials growing from 22 billion tonnes (1970) to 70 billion tonnes (2010). If this trend continues, they require 180 billion tonnes of materials by 2050, almost three times today’s amounts. Fast-expanding demand for materials will, however, require very large investments into new extraction and supply infrastructure and will contribute to local conflict over alternative uses of land, water, energy and materials, as the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) report authors warn.
The report authors outline that the richest countries consume on average 10 times as many materials as the poorest countries, and twice the world average, which demonstrates very unequal distribution of materials to support the standard of living. Overall, the global economy expanded more than threefold, the world economy has experienced a great acceleration in material use related to the industrial and urban transformation like in China.
The authors of the research found out that there was not increase in efficiency of material use observed in the recent 25 years. Moreover, such models of economy are predominant, where consumption of big resources is needed, which leads to the rise in the load on environment, acceleration of climate change processes and air pollution.
17:59 August 10, 2016