Waste Management and the Energy Transition:The Path to Sustainability and a Circular Economy

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Global energy and environmental challenges have spurred an increased focus on sustainable sources of energy while global investments in the green energy sector have surged. Low-carbon, “zero” emission technology and scientific advancements required to facilitate the energy transition—such as wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels, and lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems—are pivotal advancements for the energy transition. There are a number of U.S. leadership opportunities that innovative technologies present in the global economic, energy, environment, and geopolitical arenas and in building a stronger, more resilient nation. However, with the Biden administration’s focus on a climate plan that prioritizes the clean energy revolution, environmental justice, and sustainability, it is critical to integrate a life-cycle dimension into future policies to identify, quantify, and assess the social, environmental, and economic implications of products and processes across their life cycle and throughout their value chain in order to achieve sustainability and a circular economy.

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