Reforming How World Deals With Waste Is Critical to Keeping Warming Below 1.5°C, Report Finds
The introduction of ‘zero waste’ systems in cities around the world would be one of the quickest and most affordable ways to reduce global heating and stay below 1.5°C of warming, as per a new report released by Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).
The ‘Zero Waste to Zero Emissions: How Reducing Waste is a Climate Game Changer’ report is published ahead of the November COP27 climate change discussions in Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), which will have waste as one of its key topics. According to the report, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the implementation of zero waste systems would amount to 1.4 billion tonnes, equivalent to the annual emissions of 300 million cars, much more than taking all cars off the road in the European Union for a year.
GAIA, who will have a delegation present at the summit, urges global leaders to take urgent and bold action on zero waste to meet the 1.5°C target by:
- Incorporating zero waste goals and policies into climate mitigation and adaptation plans.
- Prioritising food waste prevention and single-use plastic ban.
- Instituting separate collection and treatment of organic waste.
- Investing in waste management systems, recycling, and composting capacity.
- Establishing institutional frameworks and financial incentives for zero waste including regulations, educational and outreach programs, and subsidies to recycling and composting.
Photo courtesy of Jilbert Ebrahimi.