The circular economy at COP
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We need to change the way we think about climate change in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.
Energy efficiency and switching to is only half the story. It is vital, but would only address 55% of global emissions. To reach net-zero, we also need to change the way we make and use products, materials, and food.
By adopting the three principles of the in the products, services and systems we design, we can also start to tackle the remaining 45% of emissions associated with industry, agriculture, and land use that the energy transition can’t address:
For example: in buildings and construction, by eliminating waste, sharing buildings more, and by reusing and recycling construction materials, we can reduce the emissions from construction materials by 38% by 2050.
Likewise, in agriculture, shifting to practices, eliminating food waste, and using better and upcycled ingredients in our food products and menus, we could halve food system emissions by 2050.
Businesses can embed the circular economy in their climate strategies and make smart decisions about how to design and sell products and services.
Governments can set enabling policies and put the necessary infrastructure in place.
Investors can mobilise capital towards circular economy solutions.
International institutions can put the circular economy on the global climate agenda.