IPCC report sees major climate mitigation potential in waste management

Waste management is a “significant source” of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also offers substantial potential for emissions reductions, according to the Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was released in early April. In urban areas, which account for the lion’s share of global emissions, the waste sector is the second-largest emitter after the energy sector. Moreover, cities account for an increasing proportion of GHG emissions in all regions and worldwide. The most significant change in emission figures is occurring in the regions Asia and developing countries/Pacific as well as in industrialised countries.

The IPCC report stresses, however, that the circular economy has enormous potential to reduce emissions. Achieving a circular economy will require more than just individual measures, it will require systematic rethinking of the use of materials. Despite rapid urbanisation, net zero is possible for cities, but it will not be reached with further landfills and incineration plants, according to the report....

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