Recently the throwaway culture has become subject to close scrutiny by governments and researchers. This lecture introduces basic concepts related to the circular economy. The short lifespan of many consumer goods resulting in extreme wastefulness, and the growing awareness that their embedded carbon also has implications for climate change, demands a slower throughput of materials in the economy.
In its special report on global warming of 1.5°C the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that “Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial level”. Considering the significant uncertainties that are inherent to every scientific analysis of such a complex system as the global climate, this lecture highlights the way the IPCC works to come to such conclusions.