THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. - Several commitments to achieve a global circular economy were made at the two-day high-level World Circular Economy Forum + Climate (WCEF + Climate). The Dutch Environment Minister Stientje van Veldhoven said: "With this summit we have ensured that the circular economy is seen worldwide as an inseparable part of the solution to the climate crisis."
The conference was jointly organized by the Netherlands and the Finnish innovation fund Sitra. Participants included ministers from dozens of countries, high-level UN officials, and representatives from large companies and start-ups. “We have to decouple economic growth from climate emissions and overconsumption. We need global cooperation on the way to autumn and the World Circular Economy Forum 2021 in Toronto and the UN climate conference COP26 in Glasgow as part of a circular transition to a low-carbon, climate-safe economy, "said Jyrki katainen, President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
The WCEF + Climate clearly demonstrated the global efforts towards a circular economy in order to achieve our climate goals. Without a circular economy, it is difficult to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Through the more intelligent use of raw materials, greater reuse of goods and better recycling, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 20 percent worldwide.
Young people are an influence
The We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership, a global youth movement, played an important role in the conference. The Dutch youth climate movement has got a seat at the table: it will be included in the political discussions for a circular economy in the Netherlands. Chairman Werner Schouten: “We are pleased that the voice of young people around the world is becoming increasingly important. And in the Netherlands we see that thousands of young people want to make an active contribution to a circular economy. The fact that we are allowed to participate in discussions with other stakeholders is another important step forward. "
The representatives of the United Nations included Amina Mohammed (Deputy Secretary General), Inger Andersen (Executive Director UNEP) and Achim Steiner (Administrator, UNDP). Frans Timmermans (Executive Vice-President) was one of the representatives of the European Commission. In more than 20 sessions, dozens of countries and companies committed to working more closely together to increase the impact of existing circular initiatives.