22 Jan 2016

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

Arno Behrens

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Author: Arno Behrens

Series: CEPS Policy Brief No. 337

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.