How can a shift to a circular economy in the EU contribute to a climate-neutral Europe?
Shifting to a circular economy model is perceived as crucial for the European Union to achieve its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. A circular economy model implements material efficiency strategies throughout the value chain, from product design and use, longevity and durability, to mechanisms that enable proper separation of materials at the end-of-life phase, allowing for their recirculation.
This sustainable model not only reduces environmental pressures and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but also stimulates economic growth, fosters innovation and competitiveness, boosts employment, reduces material costs and consumer expenses, and reduces dependencies on imports. Failing to adopt circular practices could not only jeopardise the EU's position as a frontrunner in the global climate fight, but also harm the competitiveness of European industries.
Despite efforts made as part of the 2020 ‘Circular economy action plan’, EU-level policy governing European industry has yet to satisfy climate organisations, who argue that the full potential of the EU in regulating the circular economy shift has not yet been utilised. As such, 2024’s new European Commission and Parliament provides a fresh opportunity to renew efforts towards circular economies, and address the risks associated with not adopting circular practices, especially concerning material extraction.
Sectors such as the automotive and textile industry have significant potential for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These sectors are set to be a focus of these renewed efforts.
Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss the potential of a circular EU economy, and how making this shift could contribute to a climate-neutral Europe. Questions to be addressed include:
- What are the opportunities for climate and circular economy synergies broadly, and across the key sectors of transport and textiles?
- How can the new Commission and Parliament in 2024 be leveraged to renew the push towards circular economies?
- What are the risks of not going circular, especially regarding material extraction?
EURACTIV Network Office
Boulevard Charlemagne 1, 1041 Brussels
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Adviser for Circular Economy, DG ENV, European Commission
Executive Chair, Cambridge Institute for
Associate Vice President for European Strategy and Engagement, Environmental Defense Fund
Head of Circular Economy, Volvo Cars
Director for Climate, Circular Economy and Industry, European Environmental Bureau
12:30 – 12:35 Welcome and opening remarks
12:35 – 12:50 Panellist statements
12:50 – 13:40 Discussion and Q&A
13:40 – 13:45 Closing statements
Followed by a light networking lunch.
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Despite lofty ambitions, the EU is currently far from achieving its circular economy objectives, according to environmental experts who drew attention to a recent report by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) to stress their point.