Circularity and the 45% climate solution
A new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with Material Economics (a Stockholm-based management consultancy firm focusing on sustainability strategy, technology and policy). Titled Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change, it makes the case that shifting to renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings and transport can meet only about 55 percent of greenhouse gas reductions needed to meet the 1.5°C cap in temperature rise set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The other 45 percent? We’ll need to redesign and rethink how we manage land and other resources, and how we produce everything from cars to cauliflower. In short: the world will need to embrace a circular economy.
The new paper shows how applying circularity principles to just five key areas — cement, aluminum, steel, plastics and food — can eliminate substantial emissions while increasing resilience to the physical impacts of climate change.
For example, it says, by keeping materials in play, companies can decouple economic activity from the consumption of resources vulnerable to climate risks, and therefore build greater flexibility if supply chains are significantly disrupted. In the food system, regenerative agriculture improves the health of soil, which can increase its capacity to absorb and retain water, thereby reducing the devastating impacts of both floods and droughts.
Source: GreenBuzz (Joel Makower)
The paper demonstrates how businesses, financial institutions, and policymakers can build a thriving and resilient economy while playing an essential role in reaching climate targets.