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These three circular economy principles can help combat the climate crisis

(Eco Business, 18 Oct 2019) Businesses must move away from today’s ‘take-make-waste’ linear model towards an economy that is regenerative by design to tackle the emissions from producing products and managing land, a new report urges.

Energy lies at the core of efforts to address climate change. Worldwide, the electricity, heat and fuel consumed by buildings and transportation systems accounts for 55 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet. But 45 per cent of global emissions come from making things, everyday products like cars and clothes, and managing land.

Addressing those emissions will require rethinking how we make and use products and transitioning to a circular economy, according to a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a UK-based nonprofit that promotes the circular economy, and Material Economics, a consulting firm based in Sweden.

To tackle the emissions from producing products and managing land the report, “Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change,” urges international organisations, lawmakers, businesses, investors and researchers to work together in “moving away from today’s ‘take-make-waste’ linear model towards an economy that is regenerative by design.”

The report outlines three principles for a circular economy that could help combat the climate crisis.

1. Design products and systems to avoid emissions-producing waste and pollution from the very beginning. 

Materials like bamboo or bio-based plastics, the report says, can substitute for inputs with higher emissions. Bamboo, for example, is in some ways as strong as concrete and steel. But bamboo products and living plants can sequester 6.4 metric tonnes per hectare (2.9 tonnes per acre) of carbon dioxide each year.

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Eco Business, 18 Oct 2019: These three circular economy principles can help combat the climate crisis