Bioeconomic transition?: Projecting consumption‐based biomass and fossil material flows to 2050

Asada, R., Krisztin, T. ORCID:, Di Fulvio, F. ORCID:, Kraxner, F., & Stern, T. (2020). Bioeconomic transition?: Projecting consumption‐based biomass and fossil material flows to 2050. Journal of Industrial Ecology 24 (5) 1059-1073. 10.1111/jiec.12988.

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Countries are responding to unsustainable resource extraction, rising emissions, and increasing waste streams by implementing national bioeconomy strategies. Assuming that the purpose of a bioeconomy is to replace fossil use by biogenic resource use, we estimate biomass and fossil raw material consumption (RMC) by applying multiregional input–output methodology for middle and high income countries. Next, we use a panel fixed effects model to explain RMC with economically active population, urban population, GDP, land cover, and fossil/biomass domestic material consumption. With this model, we project RMC under five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios up to 2050. The projections show an increase in per capita biomass RMC between 2010 and 2050, accompanied by—in many cases pronounced—per capita growth of fossil RMC across most of the countries and scenarios. We conclude that, if GDP continues to drive fossil RMC at its current magnitude, upcoming conditions are likely to counteract a potential bioeconomic transition and increase, instead of decrease, fossil RMC. Thus, increasing biomass use will not necessarily lead to reduced fossil resource consumption. When considering the relative scarcity of biomass, land and water, more focus needs to be placed on the relevance of technological bio-based innovations in the reconfiguration of RMC drivers.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 16:41
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 16:41

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