Modelling scenarios towards a sustainable use of natural resources in Europe

Giljum, S., Behrens, A., Hinterberger, F., Lutz, C. & Meyer, B. (2007)

The issue of unsustainable patterns of natural resource use currently experiences a steep rise on the policy agenda both in Europe and other world regions. A rapidly increasing body of literature assesses past developments of material use and resource productivities, however, little effort has so far been devoted to forecast future patterns of natural resource use and to provide an ex-ante assessment of environmental and economic effects of different resource policies. This paper presents results from the international research project „MOSUS“ (Modelling opportunities and limits for restructuring Europe towards sustainability), which was designed to fill some of these research gaps. In this project, a global economy-energy model system was extended by a worldwide database on material inputs, in order to run three scenarios for European development until 2020: a baseline scenario without additional policy intervention and two sustainability scenarios, simulating the implementation of six packages of policy measures geared towards decoupling economic activity from material and energy throughput.

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