Physical and environmental assessment

The project DYNAMIX aims to identify and assess dynamic and robust policy mixes to shift the European Union (EU) onto a pathway to absolute decoupling of long-term economic growth from resource use and environmental impacts and to a sustainable future. To support this objective we established the following five targets for the year 2050: * Reduce the consumption of virgin metals by 80% * Limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita per year * Eliminate net demand of non-EU arable land * Reduce nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses in the EU to levels that can be achieved by the best available techniques * Eliminate water stress in the EU

Our results indicate that R&D, changes in diets and feebate systems have a large potential for resource efficiency and/or environmental improvements. We carried through a material pinch analysis to estimate how improved car dismantling can increase actual copper recycling and the maximum recycling of steel in the very long term. We assumed that an improved dismantling process can reduce the copper content in the steel scrap from cars by 75%. If such improved car dismantling is applied globally, the increase in copper recycling corresponds to 5-10% of the current use of virgin metals in the EU. Our results indicate that the long-term increase in maximum steel recycling is in the same order of magnitude. Spending on R&D on improved car dismantling alone could potentially give noticeable contributions to reducing the dependency on extraction of metal ores.

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