The raw materials sector is set to boom but the OECD is warning that this will have a major impact on the environment and is urging action.
In a new report the organization forecasts that the sector will double by 2060 as the world’s population surges to 10 billion and living standards rise.
But this comes at a huge cost it says, with the projected increase in global materials use, rising to 167 Gigatonnes in 2060 from 90 Gigatonnes today; driven by the extraction and processing of raw materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and non-metallic minerals.
An increase in these processes will likely worsen pollution of air, water, and soils; and contribute significantly to climate change.
OECD Deputy Secretary General Masamichi Kono, says the biggest rises in resource consumption will be in minerals, including construction materials and metals, particularly in fast-growing developing economies.
The largest increases in materials use will be in the current largest group, sand, gravel, limestone and crushed rock with metals, coal, and wood among those expected to see smaller increases.
No significant increase is forecast for crude oil.
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