The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Kyoto University, Graduate School of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering Professor Yuzuru Matsuoka

Study of future scenarios for global dematerialization, construction of a low-carbon society

Research grant

Project Description

This research is intended to support efforts to construct a dematerialized society as a necessary step toward the realization of a low carbon society. We turn our attention to steel, cement and petrochemical products, which are highly energy-intensive basic materials and thus require prompt action. We then examine future scenarios for these materials under varying social economic, technological and policy parameters, determining physical (mass-based) stock and flow volumes under each scenario and estimating the CO2 emissions entailed by each. More specifically, we develop a method of (a) expressing the mass flow volumes within a socioeconomic system by means of industry-specific physical input/output tables and physical trade balance tables and of (b) expressing the mass stock volumes by means of charts of physical stock accounts. To this, we apply data pertaining to 23 global regions over the past 30 to 100 years and, with that, derive charts of physical stock accounts for steel, cement, and petrochemicals. We next combined these charts with CO2 emission data and social economic activity indices within a model and, with this model, investigate the potential for dematerialization policies to enable the creation of a low-carbon society by 2050.

Climate changeEnergy problem
Grant year
FY2008 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2009 - March 2012
Grant amount
13,500,000 yen
Activity region
Worldwide, centering on Asia
Issues pertaining to the realization of a dematerialized, low-carbon society <Energy; Trends within energy-intensive industries; CO2 emissions; Industrial energy efficiency; Energy inputs for raw steel production; Resources; Iron ore extraction; Global resource distributions; Low-carbon society; Dematerialized society; Physical saturation in advanced countries; Shortage of disposal sites; Inter

Overview of the Organization

Professor Yuzuru Matsuoka
Professor Yuzuru Matsuoka
Specialist fields
Environmental system engineering, environmental modeling
Affiliated academic societies
Japan Society of Civil Engineers; Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies; Science of Environmental Science, Japan
In 1973 graduated from an Undergraduate Course Program of Environmental Engineering. Obtained a Master Degree in 1975 in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University. In 1976 discontinued the Ph.D. program in Environmental and sanitary Engineering at the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, and started working as an assistant Professor in the Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University. In 1981 became a Researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies. In 1984 was appointed Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University. In 1992 took a post as Associate Professor in the same institution, and in 1995 became a Professor at the School of Engineering, Nagoya University. In 1998 became a Professor at the Graduate School of Engineering and Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University. In 2002 was appointed Professor at Kyoto University Graduate School of Environmental Studies (concurrent assignment). In 2008 became a Professor in the Graduate School of Engineering and Faculty of Engineering (dedicated assignment)
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Gakuji KURATA, Associate Professor, Kyoto University; Reina KAWASE, Assistant Professor, Kyoto University; Priyadarshi R. SHUKLA, Professor, Indian Institute of Management; Kejun JIANG, Director, Energy Research Institute
Research record
  • (1) S. Fujimori, Y. Matsuoka, Development of estimating method of global carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus flows caused by human activity, Ecological Economics, 62,399-418,2007.
  • (2) K. Gomi, K. Shimada, Y. Matsuoka, M. Naito, Scenario study for a regional low-carbon society, Sustainability Science, 2(1), 121-131, 2007.
  • (3) R. Kawase, Y. Matsuoka, J. Fujino, Decomposition analysis of CO2 emission in long-term climate stabilization scenarios, Energy Policy, 34(15), 2113-2122, 2006.