UN Environment has entered into a new agreement with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to scale up and accelerate the shift towards a circular economy, a key area of interest for the International Resource Panel.

Announced at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, by Erik Solheim, Executive Head of UN Environment, and Ellen MacArthur, the agreement will see the organizations focus their joint efforts on stimulating public-private sector engagement with circular economy solutions, and strengthening the scientific basis for policy decisions, including at the city level, that decouple economic development from environmental degradation.

“An outdated, take-make-dispose linear economy is the root cause of some of today’s most challenging problems,” said Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “The circular economy provides a framework to design an economy that is restorative and regenerative and creates benefits for society and the environment. I am delighted to work with UN Environment to further our shared goals of scaling up and accelerating this systemic shift at a global level.”

UN Environment also announced the setting up of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE), which will bring together a number of companies, organizations and governments to create innovative partnerships to tackle e-waste, to find solutions for plastic pollution, and to transform business models and markets.

“This is the year when countries come together at the High-Level Political Forum in New York to report on their advances in producing and consuming responsibly – Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Steven Stone, Chief of UN Environment’s Resource & Markets Branch. “We like to think of 2018 as the Year of Consuming and Producing Sustainably, a chance to close the loop and bring circularity into our production, purchasing and consuming behaviour.”

Source: International Resource Panel (IRP)

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