#CircularTuesday: Africa needs cohesiveness to drive circularity

circularity - climateaction

#CircularTuesday: Africa needs cohesiveness to drive circularity

Hello readers, Welcome to #CircularTuesday on CleanbuildVoices!

Two of the greatest challenges that Africa, and the world by extension, currently faces are climate change and biodiversity loss.

For one, our current production and consumption rate is unsustainable – contributing to about half (45%) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Secondly, over 90% of biodiversity loss is a result of the extraction and processing of natural resources.

It is for that reason that the world is tilting towards circularity to turn things around and this is because, unlike a linear economy, a circular economy, by design, rules out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use for as long as possible, and regenerates natural systems.

This shows that it has the potential to not only reduce global greenhouse gas emissions but also tackle biodiversity loss and over-extraction of resources – eradicating more emissions, reducing pressure on the environment, improving raw material security, stimulating innovation, boosting economic growth, and creating jobs.

According to the 2022 Circularity Gap Report, only about 8.6% of the 100 billion tonnes of materials that enter the global economy yearly are cycled back into the economy. This means there’s an enormous circularity gap of more than 91% that needs to be accounted for.

To achieve circularity and scale it up across businesses, governments, and civil society, African countries would need to work together to drive it and overcome challenges as a collective and be deliberate about working towards climate-neutral and inclusive economies and this requires action.

Beyond collaboration and setting strategic circular goals, relevant metrics to measure progress also need to be adopted. This will enable them to understand the progress they are making towards achieving the goal, identify gaps to guide action, and share practical examples that can be executed to drive the circular economy.

Africa can’t make an impact and position itself for the circular economy if governments don’t accelerate action through the implementation of circular strategies. The world is already moving ahead and it’s only right if the continent advances along with them.

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