According to the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), the pre-pandemic global economy was only 8.6% circular compared to 9.1% in 2017. The decline was the result of increased extraction of raw materials and stock build-up, and very modest end-of-use processing and cycling. More than 100 billion tonnes of materials enter the world economy every year. And, according to The International Resource Panel’s 2020 Circularity Gap Report, materials use will amount to as much as 184 billion tonnes by 2050.
When the pandemic forced the climate agenda to freeze in place, governments looked inward. The de-globalization trend in turn stimulated ‘in-house’ production growth. But as we begin to pivot towards recovery, is de-globalization the right path to sustainability? Will we return to similar production lines behind borders – and drive overproduction? It is clear that a circular economy is key to post-Covid growth. We are now challenged to use this crisis as an opportunity to #buildbackbetter. A circular economy model will allow us to lock-in future opportunities for the maintenance, repairability and reusability of the resources vital to building a more sustainable and inclusive future. A sustained shift in balance from efficiency towards more resilience will follow. Like pandemics of the past, this one could see our cities reimagined – perhaps now with an emphasis on a low-carbon economy that makes sense for the public, the global economy, and our planet.
During the panel session the speakers will be discussing the following topics:
- How to foster global collaboration, bearing in mind sanitary issues and economic hurdles
- Why partnerships and multilateral cooperation is important, and how we can spur cooperation in a post-Covid era
- Will the current situation stimulate a rationalizing of material’s use? Which materials have more circular capabilities? Why recycling will not solve the problem of the industry and how to replace the most used material
- And, how producers and those across the supply chain can move circular economy forward.
- Rt Hon The Lord Barker of Battle, Executive Chairman, En+ Group
- Faith Legendre, Aspen Institute Fellow and founder, Afire Consulting
- Satya S. Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of New York Office at UN Environment
- Andrey A. Guryev, Member of the Board of Directors of PJSC PhosAgro, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of PJSC PhosAgro
- Myrrh Caplan, Sr. Sustainability Director, Skanska USA
- Aroon Hirdaramani, Owner, Director of The Hirdaramani Group
- Oleg Pluzhnikov, Member of the General Council of Business Russia and Development Director of the National Organization for Support of Carbon Absorption Projects