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“How a global circular economy is the keystone to achieve the Paris goals”

11 December 2018, 12:30 – 2:00 pm 

EU Pavilion COP24, Room Vienna

Katowice, Poland

There is growing optimism about the potential of the circular economy to contribute to achieving our climate objectives. In a circular economy, we need to rethink our activities so that products are recycled, repaired or reused, and waste from one process becomes an input into other processes. 

The narrative of a circular economy in the context of the Paris Agreement can be a very powerful one, helping to build momentum around ideas and actions that can be applied in and tailored to multiple sectors and countries. A comprehensive approach/strategy to circular economy with supporting policies and action at all levels offers significant climate benefits and may help bridge the gap in mitigation action, while potentially boosting the economic, social and environmental benefits and development.

The transition to a circular economy requires a system-level transformation at local, regional national and global level. Its potential to reduce climate impacts, increase productivity and economic growth, promoting innovation and new business models, improving quality and quantity of employment, reducing pollution and related environmental and health impacts, will help transition to climate resilient and sustainable societies. The EU and its Member States have recognized the potential of the circular economy, including to climate change and the benefits it brings to society, economy and the environment at large. And a growing number of countries are joining.

During this side event, we intend to discuss howcircular economy can actively contribute to our climate objectives. We will explore the role of circularity-based solutions to address climate change, the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and related economic and social benefits, such as new and better employment opportunities, promote innovation and new business models. Also, we will explore how it can be effectively addressed and contribute in the context of the climate regime. 

At the COP24, this side event will create momentumbetween a broad variety of ministers and leaders of countries, knowledge- and international institutions and the private sector around the world to address the potential of circular approacheswithin the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement

This high level side event follows on discussions during the COP24 on the potential contribution of a circular economy for climate in the events on  4 December: ‘Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency: Potential and opportunities for transformative global climate action’organized by the European Commission and on 8 December:Circular Economy: the missing link in the Climate discussion organized by Holland Circular Hotspot with Zero Waste Scotland, Sitra, Circular Norway, Poland Circular Hotspot and Luxembourg Circular Hotspot.

Participants from the audience will have the opportunity to share their views on how circularity-based solutions can contribute to our climate objectives, and how we can work together to achieve this.

Refreshments will be served after the event.

Please register at:


Welcome and Opening Statement

  • H.E. Mrs. Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment, the Netherlands

Introductions: setting the scene

•        Mrs. Helen Mountford, Vice President for Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute

•        Mr. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, ASG, Head of UNDP’s Global Policy Bureau 

•        Mr. Andreas Ahrens, Head of Climate Change, Inter IKEA Group

  • Mrs. Yvon Slingenberg, Director International, Mainstreaming and Policy Coordination, DG Climate Action, European Commission

High Level Panel

•        H.E. Mr. Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, South Africa 

•        H.E. Mr. Yasuo Takahashi, Vice Minister of Global Environmental Affairs, Japan

•        H.E. Mr David Paul, Minister-in-Assistance to the President & Environment Minister of 

the Republic of the Marshall Islands 

•        H.E. Mr. Carlos Gentile, Secretary of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Argentina 

  • H.E. Mr Stephen Lucas, Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada

Reflections from the audience 

  • Ministers and other leaders will provide reflections
  • Ms. Maria Mendiluce, Managing Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development 

Closing remarks 

•        H.E. Mr. Louis Alfonso de Alba, Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit, UN 

•        H.E. Mrs. Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment, the Netherlands 

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