A report issued by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) says that China should serve as a test case for how to curb soaring consumption of natural resources, Reuters reported. The study measured consumption of a variety of popular raw materials from gold to sand used in construction and aggregated them all by weight: It found that humans currently use between 47 and 59 billion tons of natural resources a year, and will use 140 billion tons by 2050 if growth is not restricted. “China is, in many ways, the test case for the global economy,” the report said. It said the success or failure of Beijing’s attempts to reconcile economic growth with environmental preservation will be of “crucial significance” for other developing countries experiencing similar spikes in demand for natural resources as they emerge from poverty. The study suggested that natural resource consumption per capita should decline to between five and six tones per year by 2050. Per capita consumption in developed countries like the US, Canada and Australia is currently over 20 tons.