The Global Observer – June 2022

· Circular & Regenerative Economy News around the Globe ·

This monthly selection of articles has been brought to you by the Circulab Community – a network of 100+ circular economy experts spread across 22+ territories.

Global News and Trends

360Dialogues – The Impossibilities of the Circular Economy: Separating Aspirations from Reality

A comic extracted from an upcoming 5th Factor X book examines what the promise of an endless circle can and cannot deliver. It provides a solid starting point to advance circular approaches to our economies (including industrial and social processes) and allows the reader to see through the marketing and policy charade that sells the circular economy as a silver bullet.

Novethic – War in Ukraine, Covid-19, borders closing… is there still a future for globalisation? (in French)

Container ships stuck in ports, food stocks lost as they cannot be transported, shortages of semiconductors… The resilience and efficiency of our trading system has never been questioned as much. Does the future lie with de-globalisation, globalisation “among friends” or a “fragmented” globalisation?

Yale School of the Environment – 2022 Environmental Performance Index Finds World Is Not on Track to Meet Climate Commitments

Almost all countries are not on track to meet the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal established by the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact, according to the 2022 Environmental Performance Index, an analysis by Yale and Columbia researchers that provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. The United States is projected to be among the four largest greenhouse gas emitters in 2050, alongside China, India, and Russia.

Bloomberg – The Circular Cities Barometer

The barometer created by Holcim and Bloomberg Media Studios measures how fast 25 global cities are transitioning from a linear economy-taking, making and wasting-to a circular economy of reducing, reusing and recycling.

BBC – What would a flying-free world look like?

Aviation has long been a pain in the neck for those working to cut human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. It is the pinnacle of a “hard-to-decarbonise” sector: energy-intensive, lacking in immediate technical options to make it lower carbon, and strongly associated with the lifestyles of the richest and most powerful in society. BBC is imagining what a world without planes would look like.

Circular Online – Tetra Pak tests an industry-first fibre-based barrier to replace the aluminium layer

Tetra Pak tests a fibre-based barrier as a substitute for the aluminium layer. The company says the aluminium layer currently used in food carton packages plays a critical role in ensuring food safety but contributes to a third of the greenhouse gas emissions linked to base materials used by the company.

Europe, Middle East and Africa

GreenBiz – In Europe’s budding circular economy, regulation = innovation

Europe has long led in pursuing circularity, with an ecosystem that begins in large part with national and regional regulations. Contrary to other parts of the world, the circular economy has become a development priority of the European Union and is part of its industrial strategy. The author is looking into how regulation is spurring new products and business models

Reuters – Macron, Bloomberg seek better monitoring of business climate action

French President Emmanuel Macron and U.N. Special Climate Envoy Michael Bloomberg announced creation of a new committee as part of efforts to enhance transparency to monitor business climate actions through an open data platform. International leaders and investors have been agreeing on the need to improve transparency about climate action.

Climate Change News – Finland sets world’s most ambitious climate target in law

Finland’s goal to go net zero by 2035 and then carbon negative was based on equity as well as science, but it won’t be easy to reverse forest loss. – Wallonia launches two weeks dedicated to circular economy (in French)

The Belgian region adopted a new ‘Circular Wallonia’ strategy to deploy the circular economy with 220 million euros mobilised until 2025.

Le Monde – The challenge of sobriety to respond to the climate emergency (in French, reserved for subscribers)

Le Monde publishes a detailed report on sobriety discussions and policies which make their way in the political discourse in France.

Novethic – Dry soil, empty ground tables: the extent of drought in France explained in an infographic (in French)

According to new forecasts, the summer in France promises to be hot and dry. After an already very dry winter, a spring which ranks among the three hottest and driest in history, and a record month of May, the soils are in a very worrying state. The same is true for groundwater. Supervision is essential and restrictions on the use of water are already in force in some locations.

North America

GreenBiz – Why green chemistry is the right formula for the circular economy

Cycling materials requires that we ensure those materials make use of safe and sustainable chemicals. At Circularity 22 in Atlanta, several presenters described the ongoing work to find safer alternatives for chemicals of concern.

GreenBiz – What’s missing from the circular economy, according to 10 emerging leaders

GreenBiz group asked their Emerging Leaders program participants “What do you think is missing from conversations about the circular economy and corporate action (using circular economy principles) on addressing the climate crisis?” The Emerging Leaders program supports students and young professionals who identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of color and are working to become sustainability leaders of the future.

FoodDive – What’s standing in the way of a circular food packaging economy?

As CPGs test new bottle and wrapper prototypes and set goals to cut virgin plastic use, critics warn roadblocks could trip up their progress.

Recycling Product News – Circular Plastic Taskforce and Digimarc to pilot flexible packaging sortation project

The Circular Plastic Taskforce (CPT) is testing Digimarc Recycle for optimizing the sortation of flexible plastic packaging in Canada, what the CPT says is a first in North America. This project marks the start of Phase II of the CPT, which aims to carry out or support projects to improve the recycling of all plastic packaging within the evolving Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) landscape in Quebec and Canada.

Latin America

LSE blog – Latin American trade is tied to climate change, and a Green Deal could be the way forward

Climate change will seriously impact trade and development in Latin America, and the status quo is unlikely to help regional economies leap forward, which calls for a major rethinking of policy strategies to seize the “Green Windows of Opportunities” that arise from the global energy transition.

bnamericas – Exploring Latin America’s shift towards green finance

Marcela Ponce, an expert in green finance operations who leads the Climate Financing Program of the IFC in Latin America and the Caribbean, breaks down the opportunities available with green financing, including in circular economy.

Asia Pacific

Bloomberg – China Reduced Air Pollution in 7 Years as Much as US Did in Three Decades

The amount of harmful particulates in the air in China fell 40% from 2013 to 2020, according to the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute. While smog in large swathes of the country still significantly exceeds safe levels, its experience shows how quickly progress can be made

Resource – WasteAid recognises innovation in Vietnam’s Circular Economy

Making the Circular Economy a Reality in Ho Chi Minh’ marks the completion of WasteAid’s two-year Circular Economy Network programme. The programme aims to promote local solutions by supporting innovators and business start-ups that work towards a ‘zero waste city’.

Jakarta Globe – Y20 Forum: Here’s What Governments Can Do for Circular Economy

The two-day Youth 20 Indonesia 2022 third pre-summit in Balikpapan focused on building a sustainable and livable planet. Discussions revolved around safeguarding nature and promoting a circular economy.

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