Climate change necessitates a shift in our perspective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the Paris Agreement goals. While improving energy efficiency and transitioning to renewable energy are crucial, they only address 55% of global emissions. To achieve net-zero emissions, we must also transform how we produce and consume goods, materials, and food.

The principles of the circular economy offer a pathway to address the remaining 45% of emissions associated with industry, agriculture, and land use. By focusing on eliminating waste and pollution, circulating products and materials, and regenerating nature, we can significantly reduce emissions across various sectors.

For instance, in the building sector, reducing waste, sharing buildings, and recycling construction materials could cut emissions from construction by 38% by 2050. Similarly, in agriculture, adopting regenerative practices, reducing food waste, and using sustainable ingredients could halve emissions from the food system by 2050.

Realizing the circular economy requires concerted efforts from businesses, governments, investors, and international institutions. Businesses can integrate circular economy principles into their strategies, governments can implement supportive policies and infrastructure, investors can allocate funds to circular solutions, and international institutions can prioritize the circular economy on the global climate agenda.