A key question raised at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos from 22-26 May was how can we avoid the next crisis? Resilience and adaptability are now vitally important. For instance, how can we secure the raw materials needed for the energy transition given the geopolitical situation? Clearly, the circular economy has a large role to play here. By ensuring that everything is used at its highest value for as long as possible, the circular economy can reduce the need for finite virgin resources.
CEO of Circle Economy and PACE Leader, Martijn Lopes Cardozo, reflects on his time at Davos and the enduring importance of circular economy strategies in mitigating climate change and increasing resilience. The benefits of the circular economy are clear, the Circularity Gap Report found that circular economy strategies can mitigate over half of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is part of the rationale behind PACE's new strategy to double global circularity in the next 10 years.
PACE has a new strategy – to help double global circularity in the next ten years, working towards climate-neutral and inclusive economies. The key question is how can we achieve this? At the core of our Global Goal is the belief that together we can move faster and further, which is why PACE prioritizes collaboration and shared knowledge to accelerate ambition.
Systemic change is possible. Successful circular models are operating in many different sectors and locations across the world. We need to accelerate action and work together to scale up the change across businesses, governments and civil society. That’s why under our new strategy, PACE and its board members call for a global commitment to double circularity every ten years, working towards climate-neutral and inclusive economies.
Since the launch of our Circular Economy Action Agendas in February 2021, over 200 actions have been mapped involving over 90% of the PACE Community. These actions range in the five focal areas: textiles, food, capital equipment, plastics and electronics, often involving global and regional collaboration and showcasing innovation by various leaders.
The report warns that the global economy is consuming 70% more virgin materials than the world can safely replenish: annual resource use was 89.8 billion tonnes in 2016 but passed 100 billion in 2019 and is estimated at 101.4 billion last year. More than 90% of what we take from the Earth to fulfil our needs and wants goes to waste, with just 8.6% of materials cycled.