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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

Page | Last updated: 12 Dec 2018

Global demand for resources

  • If present trends continue, human demand on the Earth's ecosystem is projected to exceed nature's capacity to regenerate by about 75% by 2020, and by 100% (meaning that we would need two Earth planets to meet human demands) by 2030.
  • Humanity currently uses resources at a rate 50% faster than they can be regenerated by nature. The pressures of population growth, climate change and environmental degradation, expanding influence of the East and South are placing increasing stress on finite, non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels and minerals.
    | Related Megatrends: DemographyConsumerismGeopower
  • Global demand for materials has increased ten-fold since the beginning of the 20th century and is set to double again by 2030, compared to 2010.
  • The competition for some raw materials will increase in the future as key countries such as China and USA, together with the EU, are all highly reliant on imports for the same materials (e.g. niobium, chromite ore, platinum, palladium, rhodium, tantalum, etc.). 
    | Related Megatrends: InequalityConsumerismSecurity
  • By 2035, the demand for phosphorus might outpace the supply, causing problems of a global dimension, if replacement is not found.
  • The SDG Index and Dashboards Report 2017 shows that OECD countries face major challenges in meeting several SDGs, mostly on sustainable consumption and production (SDG12), climate change (SDG13), clean energy (SDG7), and ecosystem conservation (SDGs14 and 15); data on each spillover indicator show that high-income countries tend to generate negative SDG spillover effects for poorer developing countries (countries with larger spillover: Switzerland, Singapore, Luxemburg, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, USA, Belgium, UK.)
    | Related Megatrends: InequalityConsumerismSecurity; Climate and environment
  • Cognitive procurement systems (based on cognitive systems and AI) can increase the efficiency of the global supply chains, by improving procurement processes at all phases -- from supply assessment to risk mitigation and contract management.  
    | Related Megatrends: TechnologyWork

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