Resource efficiency and climate change - Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future

This report conducts a rigorous assessment of the contribution of material efficiency to GHG abatement strategies. More concretely, it assesses the reduction potential of GHG emissions from material efficiency strategies applied in residential buildings and light duty vehicles, and reviews policies that address these strategies. It shows that increasing material efficiency is a key opportunity to achieve the aspirations of the Paris Agreement. Policymakers must make more ambitious commitments to emission reductions if they are serious about achieving the aspirations of the Paris Agreement. According to the total carbon budget proposed by the IPCC, the G7 would need to limit their remaining CO2 emissions to 50 gigatons (Gt) for temperature increases to be confined to 1.5° C (if emissions are distributed evenly across the global population). Reducing emissions from the production, use, consumption, and disposal of materials can help countries stay within that carbon budget.