UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


New UCL ISR paper published in The Journal of Cleaner Production

5 July 2016


UCL ISR's Prof Raimund Bleischwitz co-authors a new paper on 'Ossified Materialism' published in The Journal of Cleaner Production as an introduction to the special volume on 'absolute reductions in materials throughput and emissions'. 

This introductory paper on absolute reductions argues that the magnitude, scope and urgency of the sustainability challenge require a drastic change in global civilisation, including a radical transformation of the institutional arrangements and socio-technical systems that facilitate the pursuit of wellbeing.

The paper demonstrates the complexity of translating planetary boundaries into boundaries for resource use and targets for absolute reductions, proposing a practical approach starting with defining footprints for water, land and materials. 

The authors propose six domains in a research agenda for future research: moving from niches and demonstration projects to broader norms; addressing reductions targets and indicators to guide policy and action; including policy design reflecting complexities such as time-lags, the resource nexus, and positive feedback loops; global resource governance; and convergence pathways between over-consuming and under-consuming societies.

This article is an introductory paper for a special issue on “absolute reductions in materials throughput and emissions“.