Link between climate change mitigation and resource efficiency: A UK case study

This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the links between dematerialisation and climate change mitigation. Methods used for material flow analyses (MFA) within the wider context of industrial ecology (which includes a focus on all resource flows in an economy, not purely material tonnage) tend to focus either on detoxification and pollution reduction or dematerialisation and resource productivity. An environmentally extended input–output (EEIO) model incorporates both aspects, which need to be dealt with when looking at how to meet challenging greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets. The approach understands both production systems and consumption patterns and has the ability through scenarios to analyse the (GHG) effectiveness of a wide range of material efficiency options. This analysis adopts an environmentally extended input–output approach to assess the role of material efficiency measures in reducing UK GHG emissions by 2050. A method for projecting the variables and parameters in the model, including the supply of and demand for materials and products, is presented and applied to investigate thirteen material efficiency strategies in the UK.

Barrett J; Scott K (2012), Global Environmental Change, 22, pp.299-307.