Material efficiency essential for meeting climate change mitigation targets

A new study conducted by the International Resource Panel highlights the need for focusing on material efficiency strategies to maximize climate mitigation dividends.

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Much of the emphasis on climate change mitigation policy in recent years has focused on energy efficiency. However, material usage for a variety of infrastructure and technology also has a major carbon footprint. A detailed new study conducted under the auspices of the United Nations International Resource Panel, focusing on buildings and cars in terms of their material usage, suggests several new areas of leveraging efficiency gains for carbon mitigation benefits. The study builds on the Open Dynamic Materials Systems Model (ODYM) and also utilizes the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways Scenarios in its analysis.  

The summary for policy-makers of the report has been launched and the fact sheets are available in all United Nations official languages.  The highlights and key findings of the report  are summarized in the infographic below and also a short informational video is provided for educational purposes. The full report will be published later this year.

Saleem H. Ali

Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment, University of Delaware and GEF Science Panel

Saleem H. Ali is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware (joint tenured appointments in Geography and the Joseph Biden School of Public Policy); Senior Fellow at Columbia University's Center on Sustainable Investment; and Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland (Australia). He is also a member of the United Nations International Resource Panel and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. His latest book is Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life (Oxford University Press, 2022) Twitter @saleem_ali


Go to the profile of Raimund Bleischwitz
over 2 years ago

Great work, congrats Saleem - its important to align those agendas, demonstrate co-benefits and nexus thinking, and transform those industries into providers of sustainable materials. See also this paper on minerals in JIE:

Go to the profile of Saleem H. Ali
over 2 years ago

Many thanks Raimund. I have linked your paper to the next blog article on this site related to our article in Nature Geoscience 

Go to the profile of Raimund Bleischwitz
over 2 years ago

Thanks, terrific - btw, are you coming to UK or London on any occasion? I'd like to invite you for a seminar & dinner here if you're around. My email is Thx, Raimund