The climate deal reached last weekend in Paris is being seen as a turning point in the fight against unmanaged climate change. While there remains disagreement on the finer detail we shouldn’t underestimate the impact the agreement between over 200 countries will have on future economic and environmental policies.
As a result we’ll see an accelerated phase out of fossil fuels, growth in renewable energy streams and the emergence of carbon markets in which countries will be able to trade emissions.
We’ve come a long way since the debacle of Copenhagen five years ago. During the past two weeks there has been a joining of disparate forces never seen before, business, non-governmental organisations, pressure groups and politicians have discussed potential solutions, made alliances and committed over $100 billion a year of finance to combat climate change and its affects.
Much detail has focused on the agreements and proposals around the use of water and energy. But we shouldn’t over look the impact the resource management industry has on reducing emissions and helping to curb temperature rises to only 1.5C.
We must remember that reusing and recycling material can help reduce carbon emissions. Using secondary materials, again and again in a closed loops like DS Smith does with its paper, cardboard and plastic, stops unnecessary extraction of raw materials as well as limits the amount of energy used. Keeping materials within the economy for as long as possible, by providing sustainable packaging solutions, helps retain the value of the world’s finite resources.