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England needs to urgently accelerate its resource efficiency agenda to reach net zero

The government’s policy commitment to resource efficiency has lacked ambition, pace, and scope, says Kate Young of the Aldersgate Group.

A recent Dasgupta Review commissioned by the British Government has revealed how wealth and productivity depend on the development of natural resources. From 1970 to 2017, global annual material extractions increased from 27 billion tonnes to 92 billion tonnes and are expected to double again by 2060. Our demand for nature far exceeds our ability to supply them, which poses a significant health risk. And economic and social well-being.

The Circular Economy premise provides a solution to break the link between economic growth and unsustainable resource use. The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose), where resources are used for as long as possible and the maximum value is elicited during use. The transition to a cyclic model is essential to halt two trends: biodiversity loss and climate change.

Alders Gategroup Recent Report “Close the loop” It shows how important circular economy measures are important to achieving the UK’s net zero and biodiversity goals, leveling the agenda and achieving economic recovery. The report has worked extensively with businesses, professional institutions and civil society organizations, but found that resource efficiency was overlooked despite significant short-term and long-term victories in government, businesses and the environment. I emphasize it.

The wide range of environmental and economic benefits that can be gained from the circular economy are well documented. According to the survey That action on resource efficiency could achieve 80% of the additional emission reductions needed to achieve the UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget. Bringing £ 9.1bn in gross value added net profit by 2030.. A more cyclical economy also creates a local supply chain that is more resilient and, if economically desirable, less likely to be disrupted in the event of a global shortage or failure of a major material supply. There is a possibility.

Despite the wide range of possibilities and demonstrable public support for circular economy measures that go beyond plastic and packaging concerns, the UK Government’s strategy for resource efficiency has so far lacked ambition, pace and detail. I did. It is clear that the Circular Economy Agenda has gained limited support from other government sectors beyond the extensive work of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in this area.

The UK Government has proposed and positively included key policy reforms in the UK’s Resource and Waste Strategy 2018, including eco-design standards, extended producer responsibility schemes, deposit return schemes, plastic taxes and national material data hubs. Overview of the vision. However, little progress has been made in the four years since then, and this year’s long-awaited waste management program has largely reaffirmed many existing policy commitments. Some policy proposals in the program also have voluntary status, despite previous voluntary plans showing inadequate performance and limited impact-for example, new agreements on textiles.

Existing legislation and goal-setting on waste and resources also “pipes” by facilitating landfill conversion and recycling, rather than requiring them to influence the inherent causes of waste in the consumption of goods and services. The main focus is on the “end”. Remanufacturing, refurbishing, repairing and reusing allows us to retain the inherent value of the product itself, as well as the materials within the product, such as recycling.

As the Climate Change Commission identified in its 6th Carbon Budget, even if it reduces consumer costs, there are considerable opportunities to improve resource efficiency that has not been taken. Beyond consumer products, there is great potential for resource efficiency savings across all sectors of the industrial process and economy. Therefore, resource efficiency, along with the Ministry of Finance, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (Defra), goes beyond the efforts already led by Defra. Must be a priority. MHCLG) are all actively contributing to policy development in this area.

First, the government should implement the policy originally proposed four years ago at a pace and ambition. This includes particularly mandatory product standards and labeling schemes, ambitious rate adjustments for extended producer responsibility schemes, a wide range of deposit refund schemes, and plastic tax escalators. Second, new proposals are needed to bridge the ongoing market barriers that are closing policy gaps and delaying the adoption of more resource-efficient business models.It is important to develop resource efficiency standards for £ 290bn annually spent on public procurement by the UKThrough citizen participation campaigns and incentives for service-based business models, we will introduce financial mechanisms (such as variable VAT rates) to make resource-efficient products and materials more cost-competitive and reduce consumption in the first place.

Targeted financial use, for example through the new UK Infrastructure Bank, has urgently needed private investment in additional infrastructure to support higher rates of recycling, repair, remanufacturing and reuse. It can play an important role in attracting. Finally, both a comprehensive strategy for low-carbon skills and supportive trade policies are essential to the driving force of the economy as a whole towards greater resource efficiency.

Designing waste and pollution, continuing to use materials, and regenerating natural systems will bring environmental benefits, generate significant economic benefits, reduce reliance on unused resources and imports, and local communities. Boost the repair, remanufacturing, and upcycling economy and address climate change and extrinsic shocks like Covid-19. There is a huge amount to be gained from accelerating the resource efficiency agenda-all governments need to act swiftly to do it accurately.

Kate Young is a senior spokeswoman for the Alders Gategroup.

https://www./opinion/4034750/england-urgently-accelerate-resource-efficiency-agenda-reach-net-zero England needs to urgently accelerate its resource efficiency agenda to reach net zero

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