Global consumption of resources will nearly triple to 141 billion tons per year by 2050 if nations don’t take drastic actions, according to a new report from the UN.
This scenario is bullish for commodity traders and bearish for civilisation. The report warns of “an unsustainable future in terms of both resource use and emissions, probably exceeding all possible measures of available resources and assessments of limits to the capacity to absorb impacts.“
Unfortunately the alternatives aren’t great either.
Under a program to reduce resource consumption by a factor of 2 in developed countries, global consumption could be limited to 70 billion tons by 2050 — enough to require “massive investments in innovations for resource decoupling.” Countries like America would suffer a moderate contraction in quality of life and convergence with the rest of the world.
Under a drastic program to limit resource consumption to 2000 levels, the developed world would face severe contraction and convergence.