Emissions from the production of materials like metals, minerals, woods and plastics more than doubled in 1995 – 2015, accounting for almost one-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.
Emissions from the production of materials like metals, minerals, woods and plastics more than doubled in 1995 – 2015, accounting for almost one-quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Material efficiency needs to play a larger role in climate planning, a new report says.
How much can society gain by cutting consumption of materials — by using materials smarter, using less or recycling materials? A new report from the International Resource Panel for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) says the gains are substantial and can be key to enabling countries to meet their emissions targets.
The International Resource Panel (IRP) Report, Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future is the first comprehensive scientific analysis of potential GHG emission savings from material efficiency. The report, for which Edgar Hertwich, International Chair in Industrial Ecology at NTNU was a lead author, focused on two carbon-intensive sectors: residential buildings and passenger vehicles.
“Materials are ignored by climate policy, yet emissions from the production of materials production have grown fast!” says Hertwich. “If you are concerned about eating meat or flying on airplanes because of your carbon footprint, you should also be even more worried about cement and steel.”
Read more at Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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