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Circular economy could drastically cut carbon emissions

Circular economy could drastically cut carbon emissions

November 28, 2017

 

A study conducted in Sweden has revealed that implementing the circular economy could reduce carbon emissions by up to 70 percent by 2030.

As The Guardian reports, with today’s economy geared up for “fast turnover”, meaning frequent replacement of everything from smartphones to laptops, TVs and printers, our society is currently set on a troubling path, creating a “staggering inefficiency” in our management of global resources.

The Club of Rome, a global thinktank, published a study based on research it conducted in Sweden, which revealed that “moving to a circular economy by using and reusing, rather than using up, would yield multiple benefits.”

The study examined the effects of “three strategies underpinning a circular economy”: renewable energy, material efficiency and energy efficiency” and its results demonstrated that, by 2030, “carbon emissions [in Sweden] could be cut by almost 70 percent if a key set of circular economy policy measures were adopted.”

Another positive side-effect of switching to a circular economy would be the creation of thousands of new jobs, as the repair, remanufacturing and upgrading of products “is far more labour-intensive than mining and manufacturing”. As a result, unemployment in Sweden could be cut “by more than a third”.

Implementing such measures is of crucial importance now as we stand at “a crossroads” in our society, having already caused widespread and well-documented damage to our planet, including “ecosystem decline, resource constraints and an increasingly unstable climate”, the latter demonstrated to troubling effect by this year’s string of hurricanes.

By taking advantage of various “policy options and investments” to create a circular economy, we could “benefit the climate and job market” simultaneously.

These would include:

-Strengthening existing policies in renewable energy

-Establishing specific resource efficiency targets for materials

-Strengthening recycling and reuse targets

-Using public procurement as an incentive for new business models

-Making the circular economy a core part of EU climate policies

-Launching investments to support the circular economy

-Rethinking taxation

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Circular economy EU Europe Research Sustainability

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