ECN paper
Meeting UNFCCC targets via materials policies

Presented at the EMF Modelling Workshop, Stanford, 20-22 June 2000

Dolf Gielen, Tom Kram

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A significant potential exists to reduce industrial energy use and industrial GHG emissions via dematerialisation strategies. Changes in the consumption of materials are one important element of dematerialisation. Detailed information is available regarding design for environment (DfE), but this information is generally on the level of individual products. More over these strategies cannot be analysed without paying attention to interactions and trade-offs with changes in the energy system. A MARKAL MATTER model has been built of the Western European energy and materials system in order to analyse the dematerialisation potentials in more detail. The model calculations suggest up to 800 Mt GHG emission reduction via changes in materials consumption (20% of 1990 emission levels). Because of the cost-effectiveness of these emission reductions and because of the political problems to tackle materials production, it is recommended to pay more attention to dematerialisation. A research agenda is proposed in order to support policy development.