Analysis of the development and structural drivers of raw-material use in Germany
In orderto reduce the negative consequences of raw-material extraction, it is necessary to accurately report raw-material use and to understand its drivers in society. In this study, we conduct a multi-regional environmentally extended input-output analysis of Germany's past raw-material use. We then perform a two-stage structural decomposition analysis (SDA) of the development of material use in order to identify the main drivers. Although input-based indicators of Germany's raw-material use, which also include the material footprint of exports, show slight upward trends between 1995 and 2011, consumption-based indicators have remained relatively steady in that time frame. On the one hand, this suggests a relative decoupling of Germany's domestic consumption from material use. On the other hand, exports, which contribute significantly to Germany's value-added creation, have driven up input-based indicators. The first stage of the SDA reveals that the material intensity of raw-material provision would have by itself decreased Germany's raw-material consumption (RMC), whereas changes in the structure of the global economy and in Germany's final demand would have increased it. The second stage of the decomposition reveals that the positive contributions to Germany's RMC are in large part due to shifts toward internationally sourced intermediate and final goods and an overall increase in the level of final demand in Germany.