Circular economy is the model of the future - Timmermans

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 03 November 2020

A sustainalble circular economy is the way forward for Europe as it seeks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans has said.

The Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal was speaking on the first day of the Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference  - the main annual event dedicated to circular economy in Europe.

Held online this year, the joint initiative of the Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee gathers together decision-makers, businesses, public authorities, NGOs, knowledge communities and civil society organisations.

The focus in 2020 is on the potential of the circular economy for a green recovery and how the numerous initiatives under the Commission's recently-adopted second Circular Economy Action Plan can help build a more resilient economy.

Opening the debate, Executive Vice-President Timmermans said: “COVID-19 has underlined the urgency of stopping the destruction of our natural environment and exposed the fragility of the current economic model.

"Circular economy is the model of the future, for Europe and the world. It brings balance back in our relationship with nature and reduces our vulnerability to disruptions in global, complex supply chains.

"With circular production and consumption we can create a healthy and resilient economy for decades to come.”

Launching the event's online #EUCircularTalks, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: “The time has come to accelerate the green transition and bring the circular economy to the mainstream.

"Half of the greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing.

"To respond to these challenges, we have adopted a new, most ambitious EU Circular Economy Action Plan. Its initiatives will help us build back better and create new business opportunities, to the benefit of EU our citizens and the environment.”

The sessions throughout the two-day event cover a wide range of topics, including the role of consumers and tackling green claims; making sustainable products the norm; construction and building; the importance of research and innovation; and the importance of developing relevant skills and knowledge.

More information is available here.

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