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Time to connect the dots: What is the link between climate change policy and the circular economy?

In December 2015, the European Commission published the new Circular Economy Package, containing a host of initiatives to reduce waste and to increase the longevity of products and materials, but it failed to set a headline target for reducing the EU’s use of resources. Such a target could help to increase political attention and visibility of the issue, stimulate long-term ambitions and streamline the action of all actors – both public and private – towards reducing the consumption of natural resources.

In order to gain political support for such a target, this CEPS Policy Brief highlights two preconditions that need to be obtained:

i.              First, the target needs to be based on an attractive vision for change shared by a majority of stakeholders (including business and industry).

ii.             Second, it needs to be based on robust and consistent indicators across the EU – both on the public and on the company level.

Meeting these two preconditions will considerably ease the introduction of a policy mix aimed at fostering more circular business models.

Arno Behrens is Research Fellow and Head of Energy in the Energy and Climate Change research unit at CEPS.

Authors

Head of Sustainable Resources & CEPS Senior Research Fellow