According to a report published on Monday October 21 by the OECD, we might consume 167 billion tons of raw materials per year by 2060, twice as much as today. This figure is largely based on a population projection of 10 billion people and an average GDP per capita of USD 40,000 by 2060.
As of today, a person consumes an average of 35 kg of raw materials per day. These 35 kg consist of 3.5 kg of metals, 6.5 kg of fuels, 9 kg of biomass and 16 kg of non-metallic minerals*. It is disturbing to see that if we had to carry even just what we use today; the weight of the suitcase would be quite substantial, not to mention what the weight would be considering our expected consumption in the end.
Unfortunately, the suitcase is not going to lose any weight over time based on current trends. The OECD forecasts an average per capita use of 45 kg of raw materials per day with 5 kg of metals, 7 kg of fuels, 10 kg of biomass and up to 23 kg of non-metallic minerals* by 2060. However, the question remains as to how this intensification of materials use could really be combined with a reduction of energy consumption and GHG emissions based on current international climate goals.
*non-metallic minerals are mainly composed of sand, gravel rock, limestone and clay.
Félix Fouret, Carbon/Climate Analyst - Sources: Beyond Ratings, OECD