Published 11 February 2015
Understanding how the uneven distribution of the resource footprint between countries makes a compelling case for striving for a more circular economy
Professor Arnold Tukker, Professor of Industrial Ecology and Scientific director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University
Since the earliest times in human history, competition about access to natural resources has been one of the main causes of conflict and war. Various sources estimate that in a business as usual scenario global population and wealth growth until 2050 may lead to an annual resource extraction that is 2 to 4 times higher as in 2000 and after a time that resources seemed abundant, resource competition may be again a fact of life in international politics.
Prof. Arnold Tukker of CML, Leiden University and TNO, the Netherlands leads a string of projects of 15 million Euro in EU funding tracking resource pressures from cradle to grave, creating one of the world’s most ambitious databases in this field (EXIOBASE). He will present the database, and particularly show how developed countries depend for their final consumption on water, land, material resources and energy (related to carbon emissions) extracted elsewhere in the world. This highly uneven distribution of the resource footprint between countries makes a compelling case for striving for a more circular economy, as currently pursued by e.g. the EU, Japan and China.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Arnold Tukker is the Professor of Industrial Ecology and Scientific director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University for 70% of his time, retaining a 30% position at TNO, a large Dutch not for profit research institute. Arnold set up prominent EU projects in the field of sustainable product design, sustainable consumption, and currently works on a string of 15 million Euro of EU research grants in the field of resource-efficiency, a.o. constructing one of the world’s most ambitious and detailed global energy/resource/economic input-output databases and models (EXIOBASE). He authored 6 books, 50 refereed papers and 7 special issues on sustainability research. He has been engaged with work of the UN on the Green Economy Initiative, the Resources Panel, the Ten Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production, and Sustainable Development Goals.