Presentation to the UN Commission for Sustainable Development
Globalizing patterns of natural resource
use in relation to human development
Marina Fischer-Kowalski
Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna
Alpen Adria University
4 messages I wish to get across
1. Across the globe, we use ever more resources with the
help of ever more energy from fossil fuels, thus exhausting
the resource base and destabilizing global geo-biospherical
cycles.
2. Global resource use (materials and energy) is driven by
population, income, development and constrained by
population density.
3. Access to resources, and use of resources, is extremely
unequal internationally. Without well designed policies, this
will result in severe conflicts.
4. At the same time, improving human quality of life is
becoming less resource dependent – we can achieve more
with less.
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
resource use
Message 1: Centennial resource use explosion
The sociometabolic scale of the world economy has been increasing
by one order of magnitude during the last century:
• Materials use: From 7 billion tons to over 60 bio t (extraction of
primary materials annually).
• Energy use: From 44 EJ primary energy to 480 EJ (TPES,
commercial energy only).
• Land use: from 25 mio km2 cropland to 50 mio km2
Definition: sociometabolic scale is the size of the overall annual material or
primary energy input of a socio-economic system, measured according to
established standards of MEFA analysis. For land use, no standard measure of scale is defined.
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
resource use
sociometabolic scale:
Global commercial energy supply 1900-2005
500
Hydro/Nuclear/Geoth.
Natural Gas
Oil
400
Coal
Biofuels
[EJ]
300
200
100
2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
1970
1965
1960
1955
1950
1945
1940
1935
1930
1925
1920
1915
1910
1905
1900
-
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Source: Krausmann et al. 2009
resource use
Metabolic scale:
Global materials use 1900 to 2005
60
Construction minerals
Ores and industrial minerals
Fossil energy carriers
construction
materials
Biomass
[billion tons]
40
ores & ind.
minerals
fossil fuels
20
biomass
2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
1970
1965
1960
1955
1950
1945
1940
1935
1930
1925
1920
1915
1910
1905
1900
0
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Source: Krausmann et al. 2009
drivers
Message 2: Drivers of resource use: population, income,
development and, as a constraint, population density
•
Population numbers
•
Rising income (GDP)
•
“Development” in the sense of transition from an
agrarian to the industrial regime.
•
Human settlement patterns: higher population
density allows lower resource use
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
drivers
Resource use per person = sociometabolic rates:
Transitions between stable levels across 20th century
100,0
10,0
TPES/cap (primary yaxis)
DMC/cap (secondary yaxis)
8,0
Materials
60,0
6,0
40,0
4,0
DMC [t/cap/yr]
TPES [GJ/cap/yr]
80,0
Energy
20,0
2,0
-
1900
1905
1910
1915
1920
1925
1930
1935
1940
1945
1950
1955
1960
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
-
Source: Krausmann et al. 2009
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
drivers
sociometabolic rate (materials) and income:
loglinear relation, no sign of a “Kuznets curve”
R2 = 0.64
N = 175 countries
Year 2000
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Source: UNEP Decoupling Report 2010
drivers
Global metabolic rates grow slower than income
(„decoupling“)
12
6
Global DMC,
t/cap/yr (left axis)
9
90
6
Global TPES,
GJ/cap/yr (left axis)
4,5
60
3
GDP (const. 2000 $)
TPES
2
GDP (const. 2000 $)
2005
2000
1995
1990
0
1975
0
1970
2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
1970
1965
0
1960
-
1965
DMC
1,5
1960
3
Global GDP,
$/cap*yr (right axis)
30
1985
Global GDP,
$/cap*yr (right axis)
1980
6
4
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Source: after Krausmann et al. 2009
drivers
Resource consumption per capita
by development status and population density
25
Construction minerals
Ores and industrial minerals
20
Fossil fuels
15
Share of world
population
10
Biomass
13%
6%
62%
6%
5
High density
Low density
industrial
industrial
industrial
Source: UNEP Decoupling Report 2010
High density
Low density
developing
developing
developing (NW)
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Metab.rates: DMC t/cap in yr 2000
inequality
Message 3:
Access to resources, and use of resources, is
extremely unequal internationally. Without well
designed policies, this will result in severe conflicts.
•
•
•
•
•
Interwoven problems:
Unequal distribution of natural resources on earth
Corporate control over resources and the depletion of
countries‘ natural capital for little benefit („resource curse“)
Unequal consumption rates of natural resources
Externalization of environmental cost of resource extraction
Global scarcities accellerating (intergenerational problem)
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
inequality
Inequality matters very much for our future resource
consumption
• The resource use of the wealthy and wasteful works as a
model for the resource use of all
• While the industrial countries‘ resource use stagnates, many
countries of the world have started to catch up with these
consumption levels
• This is understandable and fair – but, unfortunately, we have
only one earth at our disposal.
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
transitions
inequality
Three forced future scenarios of resource use
1.
Freeze and catching up: industrial countries maintain their metabolic
rates of the year 2000, developing countries catch up to same rates
2.
Moderate contraction & convergence: industrial countries reduce
their metabolic rates by factor 2, developing countries catch up
3.
Tough contraction & convergence: global resource consumption of
the year 2000 remains constant by 2050, industrial and developing
countries settle for identical metabolic rates
Built into all scenarios: population (by mean UN projection), development
transitions, population density as a constraint, stable composition by
material groups
Source: UNEP Decoupling Report 2010
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
transitions
Projections of resource use up to 2050 – three
forced future scenarios
Global metabolic scale (Gt)
Global metabolic rate (t/cap)
18
O b s e rv e d d a ta
F re e z e & c a tc h in g u p
F re e z e & c a tc h in g u p
F a c to r 2 & c a tc h in g u p
F a c to r 2 & c a tc h in g u p
F re e z e g lo b a l D M C
F re e z e g lo b a l D M C
m e ta b o lic ra te [t/c a p /y r]
O b s e rv e d d a ta
100
50
12
6
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Source: UNEP Decoupling Report 2010
2050
2025
2000
1975
1950
1925
2050
2025
2000
1975
1950
1925
1900
0
0
1900
m e ta b o lic s c a le [G t]
150
transitions
inequality
Three forced future scenarios of resource use
1.
Freeze and catching up: industrial countries maintain their metabolic
rates of the year 2000, developing countries catch up to same rates
incompatible with IPCC climate protection targets
2.
Moderate contraction & convergence: industrial countries reduce
their metabolic rates by factor 2, developing countries catch up
compatible with moderate IPCC climate protection targets
3.
Tough contraction & convergence: global resource consumption of
the year 2000 remains constant by 2050, industrial and developing
countries settle for identical metabolic rates
compatible with strict IPCC climate protection targets
Built into all scenarios: population (by mean UN projection), development
transitions, population density as a constraint, stable composition by
material groups
Source: UNEP Decoupling Report 2010
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
human wellbeing
Message 4:
a new transition, to a sustainable industrial metabolism,
should be directed at human wellbeing!
And
YES, WE CAN!
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
human wellbeing
Life expectancy at birth in relation to national income: In
1960, for same life expectancy less than half the income is
required than in 1930!
• Evtl. preston folie einfügen!
Source: Preston 1975 (2008)
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
human wellbeing
Human development vs. Carbon emissions
HDI
R2 = 0,75 – 0,85
2005
2000
1995
1990
1985
1980
1975
Source: Steinberger & Roberts 2009
Fischer-Kowalski | UN Sustainability | 5-2010|
Carbon emissions