In this figure, global material extraction (including only used materials) between 1980 and 2013 is presented. Four aggregated material categories are separated: biomass (from agriculture, forestry and fishery), industrial and construction minerals, fossil fuels and metal ores.

Global material extraction by material category, 1980-2013

Global material extraction more than doubled in the past 30 years, from around 36 billion tonnes in 1980 to almost 85 billion tonnes in 2013, an overall growth of 132%. Two distinct phases of material extraction can be identified. A period of modest growth between 1980 and around 2002, with only a short period of stagnation caused by the collapse of the former Soviet Union. From 2003 onwards, growth of global material extraction increased significantly, mainly driven by the rise of emerging economies such as China and India. Growth rates were unevenly distributed among the main material categories. Particularly the extraction of industrial and construction minerals increased significantly (by more than 240%), indicating the continued importance of this resource category for industrial development, in particular for building up housing, energy and transport infrastructure in emerging economies. Global extraction of metal ores increased by 183% and fossil fuels by 82% in the period of 33 years. Increases in biomass extraction amounted to 61%. The share of renewable resources in total resource extraction thus is constantly decreasing (from around 39% in 1980 to less than 27% in 2013).

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