Environment Directorate


Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060

Economic Drivers and Environmental Consequences

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.

Published on February 12, 2019


Abbreviations and acronyms
Executive summary
An overview of global material resource use to 2060
The economic drivers of materials use3 chapters available
Modelling future materials use and its economic drivers
Projecting the economic baseline scenario
Projections of the economic drivers of materials use
Materials use to 20603 chapters available
Projections of primary materials use
Projections of recycling and secondary materials
Case studies on demand and supply risks for specific materials: copper, iron and steel and critical materials
The environmental consequences of materials use1 chapter available
Projections of the environmental consequences of materials use
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