WRAP has carried out research on the contribution resource efficiency can make to achieving climate change targets. It covers supply of and demand for materials and products in the UK economy, and also accounts for the trade with the rest of the world. Thus, it covers the contribution from UK territorial emissions and from emissions related to consumption of goods and services imported from abroad.
Our key findings are:
- Improvements in resource efficiency can be taken immediately, and could deliver almost 10% of the reductions required by the Low Carbon Transition Plan. In terms of consumer emissions (including imports), resource efficiency could reduce these by 8% by 2050.
- All strategies can be implemented with no significant negative effect on UK GDP, although the impacts will clearly be varied at the individual business level.
- There is a significant risk that about 50% of the benefits of resource efficiency could be lost unless we address the rebound effect. This is where money saved from resource efficiency measures in one area is spent in another which creates negative environmental impacts.
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