Transition into circular economy envisioned in Helsinki
05 Jun 2019, 18:24 ( 1 Month ago)
The World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2019 brought together over 2,000 policy-makers and experts here on Monday and Tuesday to work on transition into the circular economy as a solution to global climate change and development issues.
At the closing ceremony, Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the European Environment Agency, made a "call for action."
The "real bottlenecks" blocking the change should be tackled, he said, adding that decisive progress would not be reached without disturbing some vested interests.
Elliot Harris, United Nations assistant secretary-general and chief economist, called for a global consensus on the circular economy.
"For most countries their economies are too small to be self-sufficient in circularity. In order to have full circularity there's a need for cooperation across borders," Harris said.
Laura Tuck, vice president for sustainable development at the World Bank, said that the current growth pattern is unsustainable.
"We must also value our natural capital such as air, land and water. The cost of depleting our natural capital must be properly accounted for," Tuck said.
Karmenu Vella, European commissioner for environment, fisheries and maritime affairs, said that there is strong public support for the European Union (EU) to lead the development.
Vincet Biruta, minister for environment of Rwanda and chairman of the African Circular Economy Alliance, said that it is important to make sure the transition into the circular economy is inclusive, so that jobs and opportunities are also created for youth and women.
Paula Lehtomaki, secretary general of the Nordic Council of Ministers, said that the Nordic countries are very ambitious in this field, and very concrete actions are under way.
Kimmo Tiilikainen, environment minister for the outgoing Finnish government, said that the circular economy is a powerful tool for combating climate change to save biodiversity and natural resources.
Finland will start its six-month presidency of the EU in July.
WCEF 2020 will be held in Canada. Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change of Canada, said that the circular economy is a priority in her country.