At its ideal, the vision for a circular economy (CE) is one where the needs of an increasingly populous and wealthy global society can be met within the safe boundaries of key ecological systems and processes. Based on current trends, global material resource demand could double by 2060, outpacing the supply of constrained natural resources, generating significant environmental impacts, and hindering global economic growth.
This report aims to provide an initial, exploratory discussion on primary materials and the role of resource producing economies in emerging narratives and global visions of a CE. To date, primary resource sectors have received comparatively little attention by leading CE actors and advocates, are not broadly addressed by the academic and policy literature, and the role of primary resource producing economies in a global CE transition is not well researched or understood. To both frame and begin closing this gap, this report accordingly investigates the implications of a global CE transition for upstream resource producers and primary material exporters with three main goals:
- To link the role that primary material production plays in addressing material security into emerging narratives and global visions of a CE.
- To examine the potential implications of a future CE for market demand of key primary material resources and commodities.
- To explore the role of CE strategies and practices in improving environmental and economic outcomes in primary material production sectors and prioritize next steps.