Circularity and the 45 percent climate solution

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Among the copious reports and white papers released during the third week of September — a.k.a. Climate Week (a good roundup can be found here) — was one that didn’t get much notice, but should. It neatly and powerfully places the circular economy at the center of untapped solutions to limit the worst impacts of a changing climate.

The report, like so much groundbreaking research on the circular economy, came from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with Material Economics, a Stockholm-based management consultancy firm focusing on sustainability strategy, technology and policy. Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change (PDF) 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-degree Celsius 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.

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