Financing an inclusive circular economy

The circular economy is a key part of global efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Circular economy activities aim to reduce overconsumption, design-out waste and restore and regenerate ecosystems and natural capital. However, new financial instruments and investments are needed to support the growth of these business models and innovations at scale.

With rising public awareness about the impacts of climate change around the world, financial institutions and investors are under mounting pressure to address sustainability concerns in their portfolios. One way to achieve this is through investments in projects that promote the development of the circular economy. In addition, circular economy investment can contribute to achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production).

From a government perspective, policy instruments are key to de-risking and incentivizing financial investments in circular models. This paper makes the case for integrating the circular economy more directly into public investment and stimulus packages.

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-Kick-starting the green recovery in 2021

In a critical year for climate change and environmental diplomacy, 2021 presents a real opportunity to kick-start a green recovery. The numerous international summits, conferences and meetings set to take place this year offer a chance to ramp up global climate action. To mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis, multilateral organizations and governments must exercise greater leadership and pursue a shared vision for global coordination.

In recent years, international climate cooperation has plateaued. While the US has rejoined the Paris Agreement, the outlook for international cooperation towards sustainability is still uncertain, particularly relating to the continuing impact of COVID-19.

This briefing paper presents a timeline that will help policymakers, campaigners, planners and diplomats to understand the complexities at play in environmental policy, in order to maximize the ‘super year’ potential of 2021.

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