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Coupling circularity performance and climate action: From disciplinary silos to transdisciplinary modelling science

Nikas, A; Xexakis, G; Koasidis, K; Acosta-Fernández, J; Arto, I; Calzadilla, A; Domenech, T; ... Doukas, H; + view all (2022) Coupling circularity performance and climate action: From disciplinary silos to transdisciplinary modelling science. Sustainable Production and Consumption , 30 pp. 269-277. 10.1016/j.spc.2021.12.011. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Technological breakthroughs and policy measures targeting energy efficiency and clean energy alone will not suffice to deliver Paris Agreement-compliant greenhouse gas emissions trajectories in the next decades. Strong cases have recently been made for acknowledging the decarbonisation potential lying in transforming linear economic models into closed-loop industrial ecosystems and in shifting lifestyle patterns towards this direction. This perspective highlights the research capacity needed to inform on the role and potential of the circular economy for climate change mitigation and to enhance the scientific capabilities to quantitatively explore their synergies and trade-offs. This begins with establishing conceptual and methodological bridges amongst the relevant and currently fragmented research communities, thereby allowing an interdisciplinary integration and assessment of circularity, decarbonisation, and sustainable development. Following similar calls for science in support of climate action, a transdisciplinary scientific agenda is needed to co-create the goals and scientific processes underpinning the transition pathways towards a circular, net-zero economy with representatives from policy, industry, and civil society. Here, it is argued that such integration of disciplines, methods, and communities can then lead to new and/or structurally enhanced quantitative systems models that better represent critical industrial value chains, consumption patterns, and mitigation technologies. This will be a crucial advancement towards assessing the material implications of, and the contribution of enhanced circularity performance to, mitigation pathways that are compatible with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and the transition to a circular economy.

Type: Article
Title: Coupling circularity performance and climate action: From disciplinary silos to transdisciplinary modelling science
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2021.12.011
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2021.12.011
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Institution of Chemical Engineers. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Circular economy, Decarbonization, Mitigation, Climate-economy modelling, Transdisciplinary science, Integrated assessment modelling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141310
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