Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future

United Nations Environment Programme ; International Resource Panel (2020)

This report addresses the opportunities for material efficiency in homes and cars of the G7, with results also shown for China and India. We chose to focus the assessment on specific, widely used products because only a product-level assessment is able to (a) track materials to estimate recycling potential and (b) model the functioning of the products and thus the potential trade-off between material efficiency and energy efficiency. The focus of the study is on the two product systems and the services they provide. It captures changes in patterns of use and provisioning systems, such as a potential move towards shared, car-based mobility systems instead of individually owned vehicles but does not address larger, societal changes (such as the replacement of cars by public transport or autonomous vehicles). The two product systems are studies in isolation, although the findings point to important interactions.

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