In the last century we have seen an unprecedented increase in the use of natural resources and materials. Global raw material use rose at almost twice the rate of population growth. The OECD finds that efficient use of resources and furthering the transition to a circular economy can help not only material security, but improve environmental and economic outcomes as well.
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ON-GOING WORK STrEAMS
The quantitative work stream investigates the interlinkages between materials use and economic activity. Modelling tools are used to examine plausible long-term trends in global materials use and assess the macroeconomic implications of policies to stimulate resource efficiency and the transition to a circular economy. These core assessments are complemented by more detailed analysis. Upcoming work assesses labour market and distributional consequences, resulting changes in international trade and links with climate change.
The qualitative work stream covers specific economic policy instruments, the potential influence of digital innovation, assessments of particular material resources and food security, the role and effects of circular business models on the environment, and resource efficiency in global value chains. Plastics are given particular attention, as they are one of the major material waste streams where circularity is less developed and leakage into the environment is putting marine eco-systems at risk.
The RE-CIRCLE work is led by the Environment and Economy Integration Division in the OECD Environment Directorate. For more information, contact:
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