IPCC Climate Report
The release of the IPCC’s 2021 Climate Report has, like the recent crippling heat, shocked and unsettled communities across the planet.
The IPCC Climate Report states that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in the last 2000 years, and that human-induced climate change is already affecting weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.
Some issues, such as rising sea levels, will not be simply paused, however the report also shows that the earth rewards good behaviour, and that the cessation of emissions will halt global heating, with temperatures stabilising over the next few decades.
Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC, said “The innovations in this report, and advances in climate science that it reflects, provide an invaluable input into climate negotiations and decision-making,” and here at CRNS, we’re inclined to agree.
A worldwide awakening to the issue of climate change is not unwelcome, and the waves this report has made in the global consciousness are profound. From Extinction Rebellion gaining a surge in support, to the Pacific Islands calling for zero carbon shipping, we can see changes in outlook happening all around us.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to understand why people are left with a feeling of hopelessness and distress. The report shares the bare, unsettling facts of climate change, but offers no tangible or actionable solutions. This, for better or worse, is up to all of us.
At CRNS, we feel lucky. Despite the overwhelming facts of the climate emergency, we get to help by supporting the thriving circular economy in Scotland.
The move from a linear economy (extract virgin materials – produce products – throw into landfill) to a circular economy (keep materials in use for as long as possible, by reuse, repair and recycling) has been referenced as ‘crucial’ for the Paris Climate Goals.
A Circular Solution
More effective resources management would benefit the global economy by around £1.5 trillion a year as the cost of raw materials would decrease, whilst employment and innovation were promoted.
Zero Waste Scotland launched their #MoveTheDate Campaign for ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ this July, which ‘marks the point when humanity’s demand for ecological resources in a given year exceeds what earth can regenerate in that year’. The circular economy presents a viable way to tackle this by improving the supply of raw materials, reducing pressure on the environment and curbing climate change.
CRNS members are third-sector organisations in Scotland who support a circular economy, and our members map shows just how many alternative options are out there for consumers who are interested in reducing their impact on the environment whilst supporting social causes.
Reuse organisations like Nest Creative Space who specialise in used arts and craft materials, and the Mull and Iona Community Trust who host clothing and furniture charity shops on Mull, stop valuable resources from ending up in landfill. Repair cafés such as Repairel Hub in Glasgow who restore shoes, and the Edinburgh Remakery who repair electronic items for social benefit, help keep items in circulation for longer. Meanwhile, recycling focused initiatives like Networks of Wellbeing, a bike recycling programme, and Coll Recycling Group who run a range of recycling activities across their island, do their bit to keep materials in production for as long as possible.
Like many great social changes throughout history, impassioned people are often at the heart of powerful movements that challenge the status quo. The IPCC Report shows that climate change is happening, but there is a great deal left to strive for in terms of limiting its impact.
Choosing reuse, choosing to repair, and seeking out methods to recycle are valid ways to show we are willing to decrease our reliance on the planet’s finite and replenishable resources. Meanwhile, CRNS will continue to represent our sector to the highest levels of government and influence for change.
Take a look at the members section of our website to see the circular economy across the country in action.