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The paper specifically looks at the climate benefits of transitioning to a circular economy in three carbon-intensive sectors: urban mobility, the built environment, and food.
By Maha Daouk
Together, the three sectors account for almost three-quarters of the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions. The recommendations concern the governance of these sectors, but also more broadly the EU's institutional setup and policy priorities.
The paper comes at a time when the European Commission is developing a revised version of the bloc’s Industrial Strategy and aims to inform the discussions around the new strategy and similar future debates. It concludes that transitioning to a circular economyA systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. would support the EU’s efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050. In order to facilitate the uptake of circular economy practices, EU policymakers would benefit from:
Mainstreaming the circular economy in all the policies and strategies stemming from the EU Green Deal, such as the bloc’s Climate Law and its Industrial Strategy
Strengthening the European Semester process, which governs decisions regarding policy reforms in member states
Using the EU’s budget and recovery funds to finance the transition to a circular economy
Fostering global cooperation on the circular economy using trade policies and treatises.
Read the paper and its summary here.
Mainstreaming a circular economy approach in the EU’s broader policy frameworks on climate, industry, finance, and trade will enable a successful transition away from a linear take-make-waste production and consumption model. And this will, in turn, enable the EU to meet its climate ambitions.
A circular economy eliminates waste, circulates products and materials, and regenerates nature.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. We develop and promote the idea of a circular economy, and work with business, academia, policymakers, and institutions to mobilise systems solutions at scale, globally.
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