What does the IPCC report say about repair & reuse?

As you’ll probably have heard, the UN’s climate change research body (the IPCC) released their latest report on Monday. This time the focus was on ways we can tackle climate change.

The report itself is a whopping 3675 pages long, but various summaries are starting to emerge. We particularly like this summary from Carbon Brief.

One key part for us here on Restarters is that—for the first time—it focused a whole chapter on ‘demand-side’ solutions, including consumption patterns.

In fact, the report states that:

Choice architecture can help end-users adopt, as relevant to consumers, culture and country contexts, low GHG intensive options such as […] sustainable consumption by intensive use of longer-lived repairable products.

To illustrate that point, they included the following figure that shows how repairable products, networks for recycling, repurposing, remanufacuturing and reuse, and green procurement can play a role in reducing CO2 emissions (I’ve outlined the relevant section in red):

(click/tap the image to enlarge it)

This implies that we could potentially save gigatonnes of CO2 through behavioural change (like community repair events) and policies (like the Right to Repair) that prioritise consuming less and (re)using what we already have for longer. And while small compared to changing what we eat, that’s still a massive impact in absolute terms.

I’m still reading through the report, so there may well be more that I haven’t found yet.

Has anyone spotted anything else interesting?


There’s a few mentions of repair in Chapter 11 - Industry:

  • Designing for long life and repairability are mentioned in the context of material efficiency on page 11-25
  • Ecodesign directive and spare parts are mentioned on page 11-94
  • Repair services and job creation are mentioned on page 11-96

(I haven’t quoted anything because the PDF for some reason says Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute :man_shrugging: )


Nice finds Neil :slight_smile:

I still need to read through these sections in more detail. But it’s handy to know we can start there!

Sounds like the whole thing needs copy editing. Guess that’s why they ask not to quote, cite or distribute? In any case, I would assume the basic messages won’t change much.