A new coalition to support Latin America and the Caribbean in the transition towards a circular economy as part of the COVID-19 recovery has been launched.
The Regional Coalition on Circular Economy will support access to financing by governments and the private sector, with special emphasis on small and medium businesses (SMEs) to promote resource mobilisation for innovation and the implementation of specific projects in the region.
Co-ordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Coalition will be led by a steering committee comprised of four high-level government representatives on a rotating basis, starting with Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Peru for the 2021/22 period.
A circular economy model creates opportunities for sustainable growth and fosters long term economic productivity and green jobs while tackling global challenges like climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.
It eliminates waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems.
According to UNEP’s International Resource Panel, adopting these principles can reduce the use of raw materials by up to 99%.
UNEP cites research suggesting that while the current climate discussions focus on switching to renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency measures, which will tackle 55% of total greenhouse gas emissions, circular economy can help address the “remaining overlooked” 45% which are generated by the way we make and use products and the way we produce food.
Carlos Correa, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia and Chair of the Coalition said: “As extracting, wasting and ‘doing business as usual’ can no longer be supported by the planet, it is key to build a common regional vision on circular economy. The Coalition we are launching today will help precisely to do that and to implement concrete and measurable practices.”