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Circular Economy News

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As Europe advances towards a green and digital economy, the demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) - such as lithium, nickel, rare earth elements and cobalt - is surging.  The European Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) aims to secure stable and resilient CRM supply chains by setting benchmarks
The 2024 UNECE Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Progress Report shows that the UNECE region is far off-target when it comes to meeting commonly agreed SDG indicators. Spanning across Europe, North America, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Türkiye and Israel, the region is currently on track to
In an important move to secure the supply of essential raw materials, the European Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) entered into force on 23 May 2024. This legislation is a cornerstone in enhancing the EU's capabilities in sourcing, processing, and recycling critical raw materials (CRMs), which
The transition to a circular economy is pivotal for achieving sustainability goals, especially within the clean tech sector. Platforms can play a crucial role in facilitating this transition by connecting stakeholders, streamlining resource flows, and enabling efficient material reuse through the
In today’s world of resource scarcity and the triple planetary crises of climate change, nature loss and pollution, many efforts are focused on developing new technologies, tools, products, and services that foster circular and sustainable consumption and production patterns across the textile,
The global market for second-hand clothing has been multiplied by seven in the last 4 decades. The practice of exporting second-hand clothing from developed to developing countries has been intensified by the boost of the fast fashion industry, impacting the environment, social and human rights in
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean highlighted the role of UNECE’s legal instruments, standards and tools in dealing with the most pressing global challenges, namely climate change, digital and green transformations, low-carbon energy
In recent years, the participating States of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - have observed rapid growth in the number and impact of business incubators and
According to a recently published UNECE Policy Paper, the agrifood, the garment and footwear and the mineral sectors contribute significantly to the economic growth and employment in the UNECE region, while being major sources of global greenhouse gases (GHG) and environmental pollution. Evidence
Transparency in the environmental performance of economic activities and effective public access to environmental information, especially on products, are indispensable in addressing pressing environmental challenges. This also supports a just transition towards a green and circular economy,
According to the 2023 Global Circularity Gap Report by the Circle Economy Foundation, transitioning to a circular economy will allow us to fulfil people's needs with only 70% of the materials we currently extract and use. The benefits of the circular economy are tremendous, as it not only addresses
Clothing production has doubled in the past 15 years. In 2018, the fashion industry produced around 2.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – 4% of the world’s total – leading to major environmental, health and social challenges. In 2020 in Europe, textile consumption had the third
Decades of unsustainable consumption and production patterns have resulted in the exhaustion of finite resources and environmental degradation. As governments reassess scenarios, the circular economy model - where resources are reused, recycled, and repurposed to reduce waste - has become a pillar
The Norwegian Government has issued a Mineral Strategy which necessitates the Geological Survey of Norway to produce an inventory aligned with the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC).  UNFC will be crucial in this strategy as it will be used to classify mineral resources
Since September 2022, as part of  “The Sustainability Pledge” initiative, UNECE has been working with fashion company Stella McCartney  and its Cotton supplier SÖKTAS to trace a T-shirt made of jersey fabric through documentary evidence. The UNECE blockchain platform allows to capture all actors
The transition towards a circular economy could create an estimated 4.5 trillion USD of global economic growth by 2030, while helping to restore natural systems. Within the landlocked countries of Central Asia, this transition can help economies diversify away from a dependence on exports of finite
In 2021, Chile was the world’s fourth largest importer of second-hand and unsold clothes, and the first in Latin America. Imports reached some 126,000 million tons, originating principally from China, the United States and the Republic of Korea.    About 40% of these clothes are imported through
In a move towards sustainable resource management, several countries have presented case studies of how the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) can scale-up harmonized resource management. UNFC provides a common language and standards for the classification of all energy
While companies and stakeholders across industries will not tire to make promises that include their willingness to become more transparent, we still see little actual progress. Research by Deloitte has shown that 65% of procurement leaders across sectors have limited or no visibility beyond their
The UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) continues to support actions to promote transparency in environmental matters across the globe. It drives the development of national legislation and practice towards a common set of international standards, bringing about
“It's now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C”, stated the IPCC authors earlier this year. “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible”, they continued. With worsening climate effects all over the world, all eyes turned to COP27
UNECE and the QazTrade Center for Trade Policy Development are joining forces to advance sustainable trade and the circular economy in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is the first country in Central Asia to use the SPECA Principles of Sustainable Trade - a set of twenty principles, adopted by the countries
The transition from linear to circular economies requires fundamental rethinking of trade policies and regulations. “Harmonized System” codes (HS codes) are a key pillar of the tariff infrastructure for international trade. These HS codes were designed at a time when circular economy considerations
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic slowdown, as well as the widespread negative repercussions of the regional conflicts, such as disruptions in international trade and investments, have made it increasingly difficult for the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus (EESC)
The global economy must be urgently steered away from unsustainable production and consumption patterns, which fuel the climate crisis, deplete natural resources and negatively impact both people and the environment. Global value chains are predominantly linear in nature, and the lack of