A circular economy is regenerative by design and as waste free as possible. At the heart of the circular economy is the idea of moving away from linear value chains to an approach that allows to cycle products and materials many times and make better use of existing assets.
Cities are demonstrating leadership on climate change action and circular economy. As the share of urban population grows, offering city inhabitants more sustainable alternatives to the status quo is emerging as an essential component in the transition to low-carbon and circular cities.
Investments in renewable energy reached USD 286 in 2015, again breaking the previous year's record. The renewable energy capacity under construction now exceeds conventional capacity. The pioneers of this transition, learn us interesting lessons for the shift to circularity.
In 2014, a total of USD 391 billion was invested in climate mitigation and adaption. The majority came from private sources. Although more is needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, these investments drive a promising decrease in the price of renewable energy.
The agriculture and forestry sectors are responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Approaches in agriculture are about moving to systems which effectively support development and which ensure food security in a changing climate. Climate action in forestry aims to provide forestry services while maintaining or increasing carbon stock.
Emissions from the transport sector are growing faster than in any other sector. Its emissions are hardly covered by international treaties or carbon pricing schemes. Sharing models, fuel switch and lightweight vehicles are promising strategies to reduce the impact of our desired mobility, although they often bring challenging trade-offs and rebound effects.
The construction sector drives the largest extractive industries in the world, storing valuable materials for long time spans in our buildings and infrastructure. This makes it the prime target sector for circular economy strategies, while on the other hand lowering the energy consumption of buildings during their usage.
Incentivising low-carbon and circular development is about incentivising what you want more off, and taxing what you want to see less. Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging their mitigation is one way to gradually move towards higher taxes on resource extraction and use, and lower taxes on labour.