Industry

New Body Backs Role of Circular Economy to Global Sustainability

Members to support global circular economy transition, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production.

The Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) was launched today to provide global impetus to circular economy transition initiatives, aimed at eradicating waste and reducing reliance on natural resources.

Alliance members will work at a global policy level to prioritise a just transition to a circular economy, using their platforms at the United Nations General and Environment Assemblies, as well as at COP26, to collaborate in the development of more resource-efficient economies.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which has backed the GACERE launch, previously said that a transition to a more circular economy is attracting investor attention. The UK charity also noted in a report this month that a circular economy will also better enable the decarbonisation of three of the most carbon-intensive sectors: urban mobility, the built environment and food.

Countries and industries more advanced in establishing a circular economy will also be advising countries and industries which are further behind in the transition, GACERE members have pledged.

“This work spans sectors, value chains and investors. Governments need to work in partnership with the industrial ecosystem – institutions and firms – on both a regional and international level,” said Li Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation at the launch event.

Yong noted that a just transition “will also enable economic prosperity, business opportunities and innovations and more green jobs”, adding that it is a viable financial model, as well as a more sustainable one.

GACERE was established by the European Commission in coordination with United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. This follows the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, published in March 2020.

“We are in the throes of three planetary crises: climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution and waste. Understanding how to mitigate these three crises and repair our planet means dealing with unsustainable consumption and production, which is why this alliance comes at such an important point,” said Inger Andersen, UN Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director.

As of February 14, Canada, Chile, Kenya, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa and Japan had joined GACERE, in addition to the EU. More countries are expected to follow, according to Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, who hosted the launch event.

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