Between 1980 and 2011 global resource extraction increased from about 36 billion tonnes to 78 billion tonnes - a growth rate of 78 %. This corresponds to an aggregated growth rate of a total of 118 %.
Differences in the individual material categories
The growth rates differed significantly in the individual material categories. Especially construction raw materials and industrial minerals saw a considerable growth of over 228%, which reflects the important role they are playing in global industrial development. The amount of metals extracted increased by 147% in that period.
Trend from renewable energy towards non-renewable resources
The extraction of fossil fuels saw a plus of 73%, whereas biomass increased by 35%. The share of renewable energy sources in total extraction declined from 39% in 1980 to 28% in 2011.
Europe: Highest rate of material productivity
Material productivity increased in all regions of the world. The highest productivity rate was observed in Europe (2,147 US$/ tonne), a plus of 77% compared to 1980. Also North America achieved a considerable increase in its material productivity (from 1,021 US$ in 1980 to 2,095 US$). However, on global level no absolute reduction of material extraction was achieved.
The driving forces of this development in industrialised countries were, above all, new, more efficient technologies and a structural change towards services. However, improved national productivity rates of the industrialised countries were obtained also due to the outsourcing of material-intensive industries by international trade.
Online portal “materialflows.net
These and other resource-related data on global level are presented at the web portal supported by the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism materialflows.net. In individual evaluation tools global resource data can be established as downloads in tables or maps. PowerPoint slides for your own presentations on resource consumption are available for download. In fact sheets various aspects of resource consumption are described in an illustrative way and visualised.
Presentations in the “Worldmapper” illustrate the differences in resource consumption of individual countries dramatically.
Also background information and trends on the topic are presented. The underlying database offers data from almost 200 countries for the period from 1980 to 2013 and is updated annually.