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.
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 than we are seeing today.
» What economic mechanisms drive material use and how will this affect the environment?
On 18 February 2019, our team of experts of the OECD Environment Directorate debated on the projections for materials use to 2060.