The Eco-Innovation Challenge

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The Eco-Innovation Challenge

18

Achieving an

absolute reduction

under a growth

scenario requires

significant efforts.

Index, 2000 = 1

4. Note that these values assume

constant population. According

to the UN statistics division,

European population is expected

to decline slightly from around

841 million people in 2010 to

around 824 million in 2050 (UN

Statistics, 2009).

25

20

15

10

5

0

The table shows that the rate of assumed average economic growth significantly determines

the need to increase material productivity. The rate of annual increase in material

productivity in the EU over the past few years was 3.2% (in relation to GDP in purchasing

power standards) or 2.2% (GDP at market exchange rates). This illustrates that achieving

an absolute reduction under a growth scenario requires significant efforts. Even under a

zero growth scenario, the absolute reduction of material consumption to 20% of the current

consumption level would require an annual growth of material productivity above the

current rate. As a general conclusion it can be stated that an absolute reduction of material

consumption under the current trend can only be realised, if the annual growth rates of

material productivity grow at a significantly higher rates than the GDP growth.

Table 2.1

The three scenarios and related targets until the year 2050

Figure 2.5

Material productivity increases in the EU-27 required to achieve reduction targets

(with different assumptions on annual DMC and GDP growth), 2000-2050

2000

Average annual increase in

material productivity required

to achieve target under different

assumptions of economic growth

2010

2020

CURRENT

SITUATION

(YEAR 2007)

2030

BUSINESS-

AS-USUAL

SCENARIO (2050)

2040

Note: This is an indicative figure based on the assumptions about material consumption defined in the weak and strong reduction scenarios (Table

2.1). It shows that, if the correlation between material consumption and GDP growth remains unchanged, the efforts to reach material consumption

reduction targets will need to be intensified depending on the rate of GDP growth. However, increasing dematerialization would decrease the effect of

economic growth on material consumption over time. This is not taken into account here.

2050

WEAK

REDUCTION

SCENARIO (2050)

STRONG

REDUCTION

SCENARIO (2050)

0% growth: -0.4% 0% growth: 1.6% 0% growth: 3.8%

1% growth: 0.6% 1% growth: 2.6% 1% growth: 4.9%

2% growth: 1.6% 2% growth: 3.7% 2% growth: 5.9%

3% growth: 2.6% 3% growth: 4.7% 3% growth: 6.9%

Indicative DMC per capita values 4 ~ 16 tonnes ~ 19.2 tonnes ~ 8 tonnes ~ 3.2 tonnes

DMC Factor 5, GDP 3%

DMC Factor 5, GDP 2%

DMC Factor 5, GDP 1%

DMC Factor 2, GDP 3%

DMC Factor 5, GDP 0%

DMC Factor 2, GDP 2%

DMC Factor 2, GDP 1%

DMC Factor 2, GDP 0%

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