World Circular Economy Forum + Climate Action Statement
On 15 and 16 April 2021, participants representing governments, international organisations, the private sector, knowledge institutions, and civil society convened for the virtual World Circular Economy Forum + Climate (WCEF+Climate) hosted by the Netherlands and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
The conference focused on demonstrating how a just transition to a circular economy is a necessary prerequisite for achieving climate neutrality and the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Participants welcomed the objectives of the conference and noted its timeliness, especially in the context of the many challenges the world will face in a post-COVID-19 era.
Discussions highlighted how a just transition to a circular economy, enabling a more efficient use of resources and driving sustainable consumption and production, as well as inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, contributes significantly to combating and mitigating climate change and achieving climate neutrality; halting and reversing biodiversity loss and pollution; and creating enabling conditions for business and decent jobs.
Ultimately, the conference showed the crucial contribution of a just transition to a circular economy in building forward better and greener – for people and planet in this crucial moment in history.
Summary of Main Outcomes
Participants called for stepping up ambition through circular solutions to achieve particularly: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on decent work and economic growth; SDG 9 on inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, resilient infrastructure and innovation; SDG 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and SDG 13 on climate action.
Participants underlined the interlinked nature of the SDGs, particularly aspects related to: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, building climate resilience, promoting adaptation, safeguarding biodiversity, ensuring the sound management of chemicals and waste, eradicating poverty, promoting economic growth and decent jobs, ensuring food security and good health and promoting inclusivity and sustainable lifestyles.
Additionally, participants called for enhanced efforts, including circular and resource-efficient solutions, for achieving climate neutrality and the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Participants demonstrated their commitment to developing, implementing, and enhancing circular economy policies, strategies, and solutions, and in doing so, complementing ongoing actions and efforts on mitigation and adaptation to achieve climate neutrality.
Participants recognised the importance of harnessing the potential of a circular economy as a tool for enhanced climate action and as such, considered the importance of integrating the circular economy in national climate plans and strategies, such as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), NDC Implementation Plans, National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and Long-term Low Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS).
Participants highlighted the important role that the just transition to a circular economy can play in ensuring that the high-emitting, and hard-to-abate sectors reach climate goals, and emphasised the need for collaboration, innovative partnerships, and enabling conditions, along the value chain, in order to catalyse these efforts.
In this regard, key players from the built environment sector agreed to work in partnership with all relevant public and private parties to accelerate new approaches.
Participants recognised the specific challenges facing small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) in realising the just transition to a circular economy, specifically those related to financing, addressing specific vulnerabilities of these countries, and issues related to economies of scale.
Participants further recognised the importance of an inclusive approach in the just transition to a circular economy, and highlighted the need to effectively consult and include youth, women and other marginalised groups in the just transition to a circular economy and climate neutrality.
Participants welcomed the launch of the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) and its aim to advocate for a global just transition to a resource-efficient and circular economy together with its strategic partners such as the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), and regional stakeholder platforms such as the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform.
Moreover, participants recognised the opportunities offered by enhanced collaboration across and between regions and networks, such as the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA) and the Latin America and Caribbean Circular Economy Coalition (LACCEC), in order to catalyse the transition to a circular economy.
Participants welcomed LACCEC, which was launched in the framework of the XXI Session of the Regional Forum of Ministers of Environment, receiving a formal request from the Latin American and Caribbean Governments to:
- build a common regional vision on circular economy;
- increase dialogue and access financing for innovation and circular economy by governments and the private sector, with special emphasis on small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and
- provide science-based knowledge on the opportunities and co-benefits of a circular economy approach in post-COVID-19 economic recovery, including its potential to create new jobs, promote innovation in resource efficiency practices and accelerate the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns, among others.
All this as an important contribution to achieve the goals under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Participants welcomed the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), a government-led coalition of African nations with a mission to spur Africa’s transformation towards an inclusive and resilient circular economy that delivers economic development, job creation, and positive environmental outcomes.
ACEA will continue to leverage on its network of strategic partners to drive the circular economy agenda in Africa. Partners include the World Economic Forum (WEF), African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Government of Finland, PACE, Global Environment Facility (GEF), African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), and the KAS Foundation.
Participants welcomed the Regional 3R and Circular Economy Forum in Asia and the Pacific, jointly organised by the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and Japan.
Participants welcomed the PACE Action Agenda in the value chains of textiles, food, capital equipment, electronics and plastics and highlighted the value of the PACE Action Agenda to transition to a circular economy, noting that the ten ‘calls to action’ per value chain provide direction for joint action and impact.
Participants recognised the importance for governments, private sector, research institutes and workers’ organisations to jointly design and deploy effective waste collection and recycling systems for end-of-use plastics and electronics to support equal employment opportunities and decent work conditions for informal workers, as recommended by the PACE Action Agenda ‘calls to action’ in plastics and electronics.
Participants emphasised the importance of the financial sector in accelerating and scaling up the just transition to a circular economy, acknowledging the possibilities of cost reduction and value retention, the need to reduce climate risks, specifically considering ways to integrate circular dimensions in their respective financial practices.
To drive action to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, participants emphasised that measuring progress on social, environmental, and economic impacts of the just transition towards a circular economy is important.
In line with this, participants called for a metrics community that actively exchanges, collaborates and communicates in order to move towards aligned and simplified metrics. This, to best serve the growing body of decision makers looking to develop and execute circular economy strategies and policies to ultimately ensure that we achieve the SDGs and the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
Participants welcomed the work of the International Resource Panel (IRP) showing the climate mitigation potential of the circular economy, particularly through material efficiency improvements. Participants noted the importance of integrating material efficiency strategies into climate action in order to further enhance GHG reductions from the energy transition.
In line with this, participants invited IRP to expand its work on resource efficiency and climate change to help better understand the interlinkages between the circular economy, climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
Participants welcomed the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative, led by the International Labour Organisation, through which 48 countries have committed to ensuring that ambitious climate actions go hand in hand with green and decent work and social justice, and urged all countries to join.
Participants welcomed the global consultations and exchanges between Member States of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on best practices and emerging innovations to help industries adopt circular economy principles and practices for achieving the high-priority ambition of developing countries for inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, innovation, and resilient infrastructure - as in SDG 9 - and for moving towards low-carbon and climate-resilient and neutral economies to reach SDG 13.
Participants welcomed United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) leadership on circular economy and climate and recognised the important work of UNDP’s Climate Promise, the world’s largest offer of support for the enhancement of countries’ climate pledges, in advocating for the role of circularity in meeting national climate and development goals, and supporting countries to integrate circular economy strategies and policies in their enhanced NDCs.
Participants welcomed the adoption of UNEP’s new Medium-Term Strategy 2022 - 2025, which recognises the central role of shifting to sustainable consumption and production patterns in addressing the three planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. SDG 12 provides the necessary orientation towards sustainable consumption and production together with related targets in other SDGs. This implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production by the One Planet network has been and can continue to be instrumental to the achievement of SDG 12, which also includes targets for the transition to a more circular economy.
Participants highlighted the key role that local and regional governments play in ensuring the just transition to a circular economy. Participants recognised the important work being done by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, with a reach of well over 2200 cities, towns, and regions worldwide, commending the network’s focus on circular development as a critical pathway to achieve sustainable urban transitions and decouple urban economic development and well-being from resource consumption and waste generation.
Moreover, participants recognised the efforts and challenges faced by leading network cities of the global ‘ICLEI Circulars’ platform, and by the increasing number of signatories of the European Circular Cities Declaration, that aims to accelerate the transition from a linear to a circular economy in Europe.
Participants encouraged ACEN, a practitioner-focused non-profit organisation, to continue to build on its achievements over the last five years, towards a vision of accelerating the transition to an inclusive circular economy in Africa, by supporting circular economy practitioners, entrepreneurs and SMEs through case study promotion, skills education and knowledge sharing across the African continent.
Participants underlined the need to collaborate across sectors at all levels, enhancing creativity and innovation, embracing diversity, and creating more public awareness of the benefits and opportunities that a circular economy has to offer in terms of improving livelihoods and restoring the environment.
Also, participants emphasised that scientific research could point to major challenges and opportunities for developed and developing countries to accelerate this transition; and in this respect called for deepening knowledge, and further research, to ensure implementation of circular policies, and to accelerate action for the just transition to a circular economy.
In this respect, participants demonstrated understanding of the need for public, private and civil society actors to align on a common agenda and take actions based on their comparative advantage. In line with this effort, participants acknowledged the need to consider specific geographical, socio-economic and cultural contexts, and use the momentum and global platforms, such as the WCEF, for the just transition to a circular and climate- neutral world.
In line with the abovementioned outcomes, as well as other relevant input from discussions at WCEF+Climate, participants presented a number of key commitments, including but not limited to:
- Finland commits to curbing the use of natural resources and boosting resource productivity and circularity, in line with our new strategic circular economy program. In 2035, Finland’s total domestic consumption of primary raw materials will not exceed the 2015 level. By 2035, Finland will also double resource productivity and circular material use rate. These targets support Finland’s goal of climate neutrality by mid-2030s.
- The Ministry of the Environment of Japan committed to enhancing the Regional 3R and Circular Economy Forum in Asia and the Pacific, which is jointly organised with the UNCRD, by assessing the state of circular economy policy implementation in Asia-Pacific region, as well as sharing the knowledge, technology and best practices, based on the discussions held during this conference.
- The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the three key environmental challenges of our age – climate change, biodiversity loss, and the cumulative impacts of plastic pollution in our environment. Adopting a circular approach to our economy can assist with all of these challenges. By reconceptualising waste as a resource, Canada is actively working to reduce plastic pollution, recover waste from natural resources like mining and forestry, and generate value from food waste.
The Government of Canada will help advance international dialogue to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy and promote circular economy approaches to address climate change by virtually hosting, together with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and partners, the World Circular Economy Forum 2021 on 13–15 September 2021.
- The Netherlands, Canada and Sitra, recognising their close collaboration in the context of the WCEFonline, WCEF+Climate, and WCEF2021, will explore organising a side event on the role of circular economy in addressing pollution, biodiversity and especially the climate crisis, during COP26 with interested partners.
- The Federal Government of Germany commits to increasing circular economy activities for a resource-efficient economy, decent jobs, sustainable production and consumption, climate protection and prevention of the input of litter into the oceans.
Resource efficiency, waste management and circular economy are key tools to achieve Germany’s climate goals and ensure a sustainable and resilient future for our societies. For this reason, the Federal Government of Germany will further strengthen the links between resource efficiency, waste management, circular economy and climate action in our national programmes such as ProgRess and the Waste Prevention Programme as well as our international activities, especially on bilateral, the G7- and the G20-level. In addition, we will further support the implementation of the European Green Deal and the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan.
With the 2030 reform strategy, the German Government aims to contribute even more strategically to the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement in the context of our development cooperation. In this regard, circular economy bears enormous potential for climate mitigation and sustainable development. The German Government envisions to expand its support to partner municipalities and countries in providing better waste management services for their citizens and in actively shaping the transition to a circular economy - together with private companies and the informal sector.
For this aim, e.g. the “Export Initiative Environment Technologies”, the RETech initiative and PREVENT Waste Alliance were initiated.
Germany also intends to increase support to partner countries in using circular economy measures for achieving the climate targets and towards raising ambitions under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Thus we intend to coordinate our activities more closely with the NDC Partnership and the EU in the run up to the COP 26 in Glasgow.
Progress will be monitored systematically within national programmes, the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) of the EU, bilateral projects and agreements with multilateral institutions. A set of indicators is used to measure direct and indirect impact on climate, the environment and the economy.
- In order to end pollution and reduce CO2 emissions, and to strengthen the demand for recycled materials, the Netherlands commits to working together with partners to internationally promote and realise, a mandatory use of a minimum percentage of recycled material in products, as now stipulated by the European Circular Economy Action Plan.
In line with this, the Netherlands is committed to working with partners worldwide, including the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and the Plastic Pacts Network, to ensure, to the extent possible, that we work towards the inclusion of 30% recycled contents on average in new plastic products and packaging by 2030.
- The Government of Sweden is committed to hosting the high-level meeting Stockholm + 50 to increase progress towards sustainable economic recovery in harmony with nature. The Government of Sweden also commits to enhance and implement the transition to a circular economy in line with our national strategy for a circular economy that was adopted in 2020, as well as our national Climate policy action plan.
- The UK Government is committed to maximise the value of resources used and minimise waste created, as set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy and related programmes, and to be taken forward through our landmark Environment Bill. It will continue to take forward domestic policies to shift the burden from consumers to producers to take responsibility for the lifetime costs of their products, to enact legislation that will enable us to design waste out of the system, and to improve collection of materials and substantially reduce food waste. Through the presidency of the G7 and UNFCCC COP 26, the UK Government is asking government, industry and civil society to shift towards sustainable practices, and will be engaging countries in taking action along these lines as well as measuring impact through the G7 Resource Efficiency Alliance.
- The governments of the Netherlands (I&W), Belgium (FIDO), Germany (BMU), Norway (DFO), the United Kingdom (DEFRA) and Austria (BMNT), and the Circular Innovation Council of Canada commit to launching a Circular and Fair Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Pact (CFIT) under the UN One Planet Network SPP Programme, building an international network of ICT procurers to accelerate the transition to circular and fair ICT.
- In the context of the European Green Deal and its Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission commits to driving the global transition to a just, climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy, notably through the GACERE, established in cooperation with the UNEP and UNIDO.
- The European Commission will analyse how the impact of circularity on climate change mitigation and adaptation can be measured in a systematic way and will improve modelling tools to capture the benefits of the circular economy on greenhouse gas emission reduction at EU and national levels. Finally, the European Commission will also update the Monitoring Framework for the Circular Economy to clarify the interlinkages between circularity, climate change and the zero pollution ambition.
- The Netherlands commits to further exploring ways to enhance synergies between our circular economy and climate change policies and strategies. In line with this, the Netherlands will, in cooperation with international partners, explore the extent to which concrete circular economy measures can lead to CO2 reduction, and thus contribute to achieving the climate goals.
- The city of Toronto, Canada commits to working toward its aspirational goals of achieving zero waste and becoming the first city in Ontario, Canada with a circular economy.
Toronto operates one of the most comprehensive resource recovery and diversion programs in North America and prides itself on being an international leader as an innovative, sustainable waste management utility. Through investments in closed loop infrastructure, renewable energy initiatives, community activations, and our circular procurement framework, Toronto is already well on its way to becoming a truly circular city.
Toronto’s circular city transition will be integral to achieving the TransformTO climate action goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, as well as building a resilient, inclusive, green, and prosperous future for our residents and businesses. We look forward to collaborating with circular economy champions locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally on our shared efforts to respond to the global climate emergency through the transition to a circular economy.
- Flanders (Belgium) with its 6.6 million inhabitants, commits to establishing a Circular Economy Roadmap by the end of 2021. The multi-stakeholder partnership, ‘Circular Flanders,’ takes short-term action on plastics, construction, food, bio-economy, water and manufacturing. Circular Flanders will continue to invest in circular experiments, research and innovative recycling technologies. Sorting and recycling capacity for plastics must be quadrupled in 2030. As part of the Flemish Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, residual household waste must decrease from 145 to 100 kilograms per person by 2030. Flanders aims for a similar percentage for residual industrial waste and to reduce the material footprint of consumption in the region by 30% between 2019 and 2030.
- The city of Lagos (Nigeria) is committed to transitioning to a circular economy. The outcome of a round table discussion on the circular economy held in December 2020 is being embedded in the State’s 30-year Development Plan with the aim of making Lagos a model for circular economy in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. The main focus is on waste management in plastics, liquid, organic waste, as well as quality monitoring and control. The State Government is already fashioning out incentives with cooperation of the private sector and development partners in this regard.
- The Office of the Slovak President will become climate-neutral by 2030 as the first public institution in Slovakia, through inter alia clean mobility, zero waste approach, renewable energy installation, energy efficiency gains, planting trees, digitalisation, producing home-made honey from the presidential garden, making full potential of green public procurement, drinking tap water, buying local food for official gatherings, and banning single-use plastics.
- ILO commits to building the capacity of its member states as well as its employers’ and workers’ organisations so that they can take concerted action to advance decent work and promote a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, including in electronics and e-waste.
- UNEP is committed to supporting a just transition to circularity through deepening its scientific knowledge and understanding of the links between climate change and circularity; working closely with countries to raise the ambition on climate change by adopting circular economy policies and actions; and crowd-sourcing actions, leadership, partnerships, policies, examples across governments, businesses, civil society and the scientific community so that we can build a global movement for sustainable consumption and production.
- UNDP, through its flagship initiative the Climate Promise, is committed to supporting countries to identify key entry points for circular approaches through NDCs and broader climate action. By helping include circular economy strategies and policies as part of countries’ revised NDCs, UNDP can help countries achieve the transformational change necessary to decarbonise their economies and redefine growth, while focusing on positive society-wide benefits. UNDP also commits to leveraging its convening power and vast network of experts to foster knowledge-sharing and south-south exchange on linkages between the circular economy and climate agendas.
UNDP will seek to enhance collaboration with partners across the UN family, such as UNEP and UNFCCC, as well as other government and civil society partners to support countries to develop and implement groundbreaking circular economy solutions that address the climate crisis while creating a more equitable, resilient and sustainable economy.
- UNDP and UNEP will continue to jointly support developing countries in enhancing the ambition of their NDCs through circular economy policies and measures and explore this potential in the context of LT-LEDS. A second edition of the UNDP-UNEP guidance note on integrating circular economy into national climate action plans will also be produced, based on experience in delivering support and on identified country needs.
- The NDC Partnership, through its Support Unit, will continue to share information on countries’ support requests to the Partnership related to the circular economy as part of NDC Action Plans through its knowledge management system, and share these insights with partners, including through a potential webinar or Partnership Briefing dedicated to the circular economy.
- ACEA and its partners committed to mobilise resources for the development of national circular economy strategies that are aligned with the objectives of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement;
ACEA’s member countries agree to enhance cooperation for cross-border policy harmonisation to boost the creation of regional circular value chains;
ACEA, with the support of its partners, will operationalise working groups to drive the implementation of circular projects and initiatives;
ACEA will collaborate with other nations, regional and global platforms to share best practices, enable peer-to-peer learning and promote technology transfer and innovation.
- The European Investment Bank (EIB) will increase its level of support to climate action and environmental sustainability to reach 50% of its overall lending activity by 2025 and beyond, and thus help to leverage €1 trillion of climate investments by the EIB Group by 2030. As part of this commitment, the EIB will reinforce its activities on the circular economy across all geographical areas of operation. In support of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, the EIB Group will provide financial and advisory support to circular economy projects. This includes stronger support to financing commercialisation of circular economy innovations in partnership with the European Commission. The EIB has also joined forces with five European national promotional banks and institutions to launch the Joint Initiative on Circular Economy (JICE), an initiative that will provide at least €10 billion of financing by 2023 for projects that support the circular economy. The EIB plans to step up its tailor-made technical and financial advisory activities for cities and regions in particular, to support them in their circular economy transition and decarbonisation.
- The Netherlands, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Circle Economy are working together with international partners in the public and private sectors to increase the availability of public, private, and blended financing, to accelerate the transition to a circular economy as a means to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Targets. In this regard, the Netherlands, the IDB, and Circle Economy commit to working together and with relevant stakeholders on an action plan, to scale up financing for a circular economy as a means to achieve climate neutrality.
- Circular Slovakia, an initiative built on collaboration among the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Environmental Agency, the Slovak Business Agency, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dutch-Slovak Chamber of Commerce, and the Insitute for Circular Economy, commits to train trainers and deliver circular economy training to companies in Slovakia (Circo Programme), to boost expertise in the circular economy (Interreg project CircularRegions), to actively contribute to the creation of the Roadmap for Slovakia accrued from public-private dialogue.
- The PACE Board commits to defining joint action to accelerate progress on the PACE Action Agenda, and commits to report on progress aligned with the PACE Action Agenda. In addition, PACE board members recognise the importance of moving towards an aligned metrics field and support the Circular Economy Indicators Coalition in filling key gaps.
- With support from the Goldschmeding Foundation, PACE and Circle Economy commit to enhance the Circular Economy Indicators Coalition which provides a space for key stakeholders to collaborate, exchange and work towards solutions for key common challenges.
- With respect to the way forward proposed by PACE to advance decent work in effective collection and recycling systems for end-of-use plastics:
a. Colombia commits to sharing the learnings from Colombia’s experiences in introducing EPR and integrating informal workers and bringing in Colombia and Santa Marta as a pilot area,
b. The Netherlands commits to bringing together, in collaboration with PACE, all interested stakeholders in co-creation workshops to further refine the proposed solution and jointly design the project proposal. The Netherlands will also share their networks and bring in relevant projects as best practices.
c. Chatham House commits to evidence building of effective solutions and to use Chatham House’s networks to amplify findings and results. Chatham House also commits to sharing the best practices from their own project in order to think about designing a formal role for informal workers in reversed logistics of plastics,
d. Ocean Conservancy commits to promoting the importance of decent work for the vulnerable communities at the forefront of plastic pollution, in order to mobilise additional resources to the issue, and to sharing scientific knowledge to demonstrate the importance of EPR and to share best practices gained within Ocean Conservancy’s networks.
- With respect to the way forward proposed by PACE towards sustainable and decent work in the effective collection and recycling of end-of-use electronics:
a. Nigeria commits to providing regulatory support by enforcing regulations to strengthen implementation through sustained collaboration with government agencies.
b. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) commits to support PACE by connecting it with partners and experts in Ghana and beyond, as well as in the PREVENT Waste Alliance,
c. The Netherlands commits to bringing together, in collaboration with PACE, all interested stakeholders in co-creation workshops to further refine the proposed solution and jointly design the project proposal. The Netherlands will also share their networks and bring in relevant projects as best practices,
d. IndustriALL commits to engaging labour unions in Africa to provide support and guidance on how to ensure decent work through the provision of training and education and to engage in effective social dialogue with employers and government encouraging them to support a just transition towards sustainable and decent work in the e-waste sector,
e. Closing the Loop commits to using its nine years of hands-on experience, enabling other project partners to turn (long-term) commitments into short-term results, in a positive, engaging and business model supported manner.
- The Center for Global Commons at the University of Tokyo commits to accelerating the transition to circular economy, which is one of the keys of the Global Commons Stewardship, and maximising the global benefits of the circular economy through its efforts toward establishing Global Commons Stewardship.
In addition, as a hub for promoting the circular economy in Japan and Asia, the Center for Global Commons also commits to encouraging public-private-academic partnerships together with partners in the food, city, and textile sectors, as well as hard-to-abate sectors such as the chemical industry.
- CIRCULAR STRUCTURAL DESIGN commits to work on the application of circular economy principles in everyday structural design projects by testing real-life cases as part of a 2-year research and design program within the Smart Buildings & Cities (SBC) PDEng program at Eindhoven University of Technology.
- ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability commits to collaborating with citizens, businesses and the research community to promote equitable city, town and regional transitions from a linear to a circular economy in integrated ways that support new enterprises, create dignified jobs, and that ensure quality lives for citizens in all world regions.
- The We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership (WAT-GP) commits to incorporate the sharing of knowledge and best practices on the circular economy in its ongoing mission to inform, inspire and involve youth in the countries of both current as well as future partners that together make up the WAT-GP; and to seek out the cooperation of local and national governments in those countries to involve youth in the assuring of a just transition to a circular economy that is not only horizontal (i.e. fair to all countries) but also vertical (i.e. fair to all generations).
- The Netherlands is committed to continue with actively integrating youth engagement by including young people in climate policy-making, by taking the following actions:
a. De Jonge Klimaatbeweging (Youth Climate Movement) will be included in the policy cycle for the circular economy in 2021 during a high-level meeting. The Youth Climate Movement represents more than fifty diverse youth organisations focused on climate policy. This gives them a seat at the table with regards to circular economy policy-making and gives a voice to the young people they represent in integral meetings with our circular economy colleagues and high-level external partners.
b. Within the actualisation of the Uitvoeringsprogramma Circulaire Economie (Implementation Programme Circular Economy) youth engagement will play a strategic role. The yearly high-level adoption of the implementation programme is an integral part of the policy cycle for the circular economy. Young people are not only mentioned in the implementation programme, but will also be able to actively influence high-impact actions.
c. The Netherlands actively includes young people in the yearly National Circular Economy Conference. During the last conference, Prime-Minister Mark Rutte and Minister for the Environment Stientje van Veldhoven had a conversation with three young people about their views on circular economy policies.
d. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will fund an annual election of one hundred sustainable young entrepreneurs, Duurzame Jonge 100, for another year. This election aims to show that sustainable entrepreneurship is necessary and young people are essential players in this process. By engaging with these 100 sustainable young frontrunners they can influence and help think about climate policy based on their sustainable innovations and ideas on the circular economy.
The Netherlands is committed to invite other nations to join in the effort to include young people in the decision-making process of circular economy policies by actively engaging them and offering them a seat at the table, thereby learning from each other with regard to youth engagement on both the national and international level.
- The CEUS Chile NGO is committed to continue the discussion on a circular economy among youth in Chile with an intergenerational look and with special emphasis on a just transition, by organising, jointly with Chile’s Ministry of Environment, a National Youth Dialogue on the circular economy followed by a report of which the outcomes will be incorporated in public policies relating to the circular economy and climate, such as the Long-Term Climate Strategy. Moreover, this report will be presented to Chile’s Climate Action Advisory Committee.
The CEUS Chile NGO, with support from Chile’s Ministry of Environment, is committed to organise another cycle of the “Training for Young Leaders: Territory and Circular Economy”, as held in 2020, for young people with a focus on the relationship between circular economy and climate change en route to COP26.
- Based on the Trilateral Memorandum of Collaboration, between the Circular Economy Alliance, Circular Economy Research Center and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the partners commit to offering 8000 Cypriot enterprises training on a circular economy, signalling a firm commitment in supporting the workforce of Cyprus to upskill and reskill in the context of the transition to a circular economy. This initiative will be part of the Pact for Skills, a flagship initiative of the European Commission launched on 10 November 2020 under the European Skills Agenda for Sustainable Competitiveness, Social Fairness and Resilience.
- Nordic Innovation commits to accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the Nordics and to develop the Nordics further as agile frontrunners within circular economy and circular business models. The Circular Business Models program is one of the eight initiatives launched by the five Nordic ministers of trade and industry and will support the Nordic companies in their circular economy transition.
- ACEN, in collaboration with all key stakeholders, commits to the promotion and development of circular economy initiatives, projects, policies and strategies that will assist the alignment of the SDGs across Africa through integrated and holistic circular principles and objectives.
ACEN commits to encourage its Members and Partners to drive economic, social and environmental development across Africa to underpin the sustainable development of circular economy principles in all sectors and align with the SDGs and climate mitigation and adaptation through a just and inclusive transition.
ACEN commits to support intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration.
- To evidence circular economy opportunities across Africa, Footprints Africa, Circle Economy and ACEN commit to collecting 500 cases of circular economy. These will be open to everyone to access and edit. We aim to broaden representation from contexts beyond high income countries to help build understanding and hopefully support these initiatives to access the resources they need to succeed.
- The Turkey Circular Economy Platform founded by Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Turkey and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (with the donors’ support of The Republic of Austria Ministry of Finance, Government of the Netherlands, Taiwan Business, Republic of Turkey Ministry of Treasury and Finance), is committed to supporting the Turkish private and public sectors in their efforts to adopt a circular economy as a guiding model to recover after the pandemic, build a more resilient economy and ensure sustainable economic growth.
- The Australian Circular Economy Hub (ACE Hub) is committed to accelerating the transition to a circular economy in Australia. This is part of the growing acknowledgement that we have an urgent need to protect our finite resources and reduce emissions, and this can only be achieved with one of the most significant collaboration efforts ever undertaken.
The ACE Hub aims to be the focal point for all things circular in Australia – a platform for sharing knowledge and inspiration, building networks of circular economy practitioners and celebrating the efforts of all those working towards this vital transition.
- The Netherlands commits to continuing to work with the World Economic Forum and other partners in both the public and private sectors, to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in the hard-to-abate sectors.
- 34 companies in the textiles value chain in the Netherlands and Turkey committed to the goals set by the Denim Deal for 2020-2023, focusing on raising the industry demand of post-consumer recycled (PCR) cotton into new denim garments to higher standards.
- 80 companies in the Netherlands committed to close the loop of plastics by putting 20% less plastics packaging on the market in 2025, the rest will be 100% recyclable and reusable, and on average with 35% recycled content and the recycling capacity will be doubled at the same time.
- 120 companies in Europe committed themselves to close the loop of plastics as well by the same strategies on redesign, reuse and recycling of plastic packaging in 2025.
- Philips commits to generating 25% of its revenue from circular products, services and solutions, offering a trade-in on all professional medical equipment, and taking care of responsible repurposing, by 2025, working in collaboration with PACE, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, WEF, Circle Economy.
- Closing the Loop commits to working with relevant partners towards an European standard for waste-neutral purchasing - building on the current Dutch norm on ‘circular procurement for technology hardware,’ with the aim of making the Netherlands and EU global beacons of circularity, resulting in value for emerging markets, tangible results for waste reduction and an appealing implementation of the just transition to a circular economy.
- In plastic recycling, Veolia commits to increase the volume of plastic it recycles today by 50%, from 400 kilotons to 600 kilotons by 2023. Knowing that one ton of recycled plastic represents 1.1 ton of CO2 emissions avoided, Veolia thus has a positive contribution on plastic pollution, resource conservation and climate change.
- BINGO Industries, a resource recovery business striving to keep products in use and recognising the importance and linkages between the circular economy and climate change, is committed to ‘keeping products and materials in use’ and real action on climate change in Australia.
- Polestar Capital will before the end of 2022 launch a direct lending strategy that will exclusively finance innovative circular companies that are not (yet) or not sufficiently financed by other financiers. The borrowers have an innovative potential break-through technology that may globally change their respective value chain(s) if they obtain the financing to proof their technology and business model and scale their business.
- Nexus and HSE Center AmirKabir University Foundation in Iran commits to initiating a measuring, reporting and verification(MRV) of emissions system in energy intense industries by starting from the thermal power plant sector and petrochemical industry and by suggesting transitional circular pathways for carbon mitigation and sequestration in these industries through MRV of mitigation actions and MRV of support. In addition, Nexus and HSE Center AmirKabir University Foundation commit to developing a national demonstration case by initiating industrial circularity through developing an industrial ecology platform between many different small industries located in three main industrial cities around the capital of Iran. In addition, Nexus and HSE Center AmirKabir University Foundation will design and follow an institutionalisation process of nexus mindset of circularity. Nexus and HSE Center will actively seek to network with similar institutions and organisations to apply circularity in know-how and best practices.
Finally, participants called on the organisers of the WCEF+Climate to transfer the main outcomes and key actions identified to relevant organisations and to embed these in upcoming events and processes.