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Beyond net-zero: 'Switching to circular' to combat the climate crisis

Why Scotland needs to go beyond net-zero to combat the climate crisis.

Scotland’s commitment to reaching net-zero by 2045 is a fantastic step forward in tackling the climate crisis, and one of the most ambitious targets in the world. However, it only addresses half of Scotland’s total carbon footprint. 50 per cent of our footprint comes from all the products and materials that we import from outside our borders.

If we fail to reduce our consumption emissions whilst reducing our territorial emissions - we will end up reaching the net zero target, yet only marginally reducing our total emissions.

In this think piece, Circular Economy Policy Analyst, Dr Jack Barrie, considers the need to move beyond net-zero: both economically and environmentally, in terms of the global impact of our consumption on vulnerable societies and ecosystems. He discusses the circular economy as a solution to maximise value and minimise waste and emissions and significantly reduce our demand for new material and products, including carbon-intensive imports.

Read the full think piece.

About the author:

Dr Jack Barrie, 

Circular Economy Policy Analyst, Zero Waste Scotland

  • Dr Jack Barrie holds a PhD in the Circular Economy and Innovation Systems;
  • Circular Economy Policy Analyst – in this role, Jack provides research, evidence, analysis and advice to Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government to help realise key waste and circular economy policy commitments. He leads on the gathering of evidence to support the development of new policies and interventions that will help Scotland meet its ambitious targets;
  • Jack is also a lecturer on the circular economy at the University of Strathclyde.
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