Perspectives for the circular chemical economy post COP26
Dr Katie Lamb & Professor Peter Styring from the University of Sheffield have been reflecting on COP26, with a newly released perspectives article for Frontiers and Energy Research, detailing how well COP26 (and COP27) policies (as well as UK policies overall) are pushing towards the implementation of a circular chemical economy in the UK. The paper also discusses the UK’s past promises and pledges around dealing with carbon dioxide emissions via CCS, and the current push towards employing CCUS across the UK.
More global action towards climate change in the UK is needed now. Carbon dioxide levels need to be decreased globally and more sustainable practices implemented throughout all sectors in the UK. Whilst many steps have been taken in the UK to reduce its overall carbon footprint, the UK chemical sector must become more sustainable. Whilst carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced, a holistic systematic approach is needed to reduce emissions and improve sustainable manufacture. The circular economy in conjunction with reducing carbon dioxide levels can therefore be used to tackle this issue. Carbon dioxide mitigation technologies, such as carbon capture utilisation and storage amongst others, must help complement a circular economy as well as push towards a more circular carbon-based UK chemical sector. This perspective will discuss policies pledged towards tackling climate change via carbon dioxide reduction methods, pre and post COP26, and critically discuss the good and bad aspects of the conference, especially in terms of creating a circular chemical economy in the UK.