The COP26 climate change summit took place between 31 October and 13 November 2021 in Glasgow. The reason we needed this summit is that we are very efficient at pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere but singularly useless at getting it back out again.
The waste and recycling industry contributes close to 3% of Australia’s direct emissions. However, recycling abates much more by capturing the embodied energy of the recovered materials.
We can create a more sustainable Australia by reducing emissions, increasing recycling and growing new green jobs.
Organics to landfill make up more than half of all waste to landfill in Australia. They are also responsible for a fair amount of the waste sector's GHG emissions.
How can we create environmental benefits and stimulate the economic growth sorely needed post COVID-19?
If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the U.S. and China
One thing we can do to combat climate change as individuals, households, local councils, state governments and federal governments is address food waste to landfill.
So, what are our options?
Projections show Australia is very unlikely to meet its current 2030 carbon reduction targets, with recent reports of increasing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from all sectors other than the electricity and agriculture industries.
Australia needs to do more and the waste and recycling sector can lead the charge in emissions reduction.
The naturally deficient in carbon, Australian soils are being depleted further through agriculture. Adding organic matter helps replenish nutrients and improve soil structure.
When carbon is added through compost, it is good for the environment, the soil and for farmers who can now earn ACCUs and cash through the the Emissions Reduction Fund.
MRA’s Mike Ritchie was featured on the cover of Waste Management Review having been interviewed on the waste sector’s contribution to national emissions and its role in meeting Australia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The news on our climate is not good as the recently released CSIRO and BOM report confirm the continued warming of Australia’s climate and oceans: “Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long‑term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.”