• To achieve our ambitious climate goals, we know that by 2030, we must have reorganized our waste and materials management systems to set ourselves on the path to a safe future for the climate. That`s why, as mayor of the world`s major cities, we are accelerating the transition to a zero, more regenerative future by taking ambitious, measurable and inclusive steps to reduce municipal waste generation and improve material management in our cities. Real climate solutions are pushing us towards a circular economy — one that does not accept any material as a “waste.” Recycling, composting and waste prevention are efficient, inexpensive and ready to implement climate solutions. The world is eager to respond and it is time for our industry to provide. Cities on all continents face the challenge of achieving the highest ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Sustainable, prosperous and livable cities, and I, ultimately, must be waste-free cities. The Belgian city of Bruges had a problem with food waste – a study showed that every year, food retailers ate about 750,000 kg of edible food. To combat this problem, the city has worked with various sectors to reduce its food waste and has had particular success with health care, which in 2015 alone wasted 318 tons of food (only from hot meals), or 1,017 tons of CO2 emissions. A participatory programme has enabled the local main hospital to reduce its food waste by 43%. Worldwide, preventing food waste can reduce emissions by 70.53 gigatonnes of CO2 over the next 30 years, making it one of the main solutions to the climate crisis.

    This agreement concludes the real solutions to climate change and waste management. A company should never accept equipment as waste. Recycling, composting and reduction have proven to be the most cost-effective means of implementing solutions to combat climate change. Cities are also embracing the concept of a circular economy, not only by reducing the amount of waste in landfills and incinerators, but also by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. These cities are taking steps to keep resources in the economic system for as long as possible and remove waste from the system. Circular economy initiatives can protect natural resources, the air people breathe and the water they drink, and at the same time make cities more efficient, prosperous and competitive. This means that we cannot be satisfied with landfill discharges as the most satisfactory response. The real solution is to stop methane emissions from landfills by removing organic matter. This means composting food waste and farm waste, as well as improving paper recycling.

    Another main part of the puzzle is the fight against food waste. When organic waste is landfilled, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period.

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