Japan pledges to advance the circular economy

Japan pledges to advance the circular economy

We have to halt climate change and achieving a circular economy is a key element of that. Japan has pledged to advance the circular economy when it takes up the presidency of the G20 next year

The World Circular Economy Forum is the global initiative of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. This year's event took place in Yokohama in Octoberwith representatives from 80 countries. Japan's Environment Minister announced Japan's commitment to bringing climate change to the top of the international political agenda. www.wcef2018.com.

Speaking at the recent World Circular Economy Forum 2018, Japan’s Environment Minister Tsukasa Akimoto pledged that Japan will advance the circular economy when the world’s third biggest economy takes up the presidency of the G20 countries in 2019.
 
'Japan will bring the output of this forum to international conferences such as the Asia-Pacific 3R promotion forum, United Nations Environment Assembly UNEA4 and the G20, and Japan will show strong leadership for the circular economy,' he said. 
 
Finland’s Minister of the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen stressed that Finland’s EU and Japan’s G20 presidencies next year will be 'a fantastic opportunity' to promote the solutions of circular economy and to fight environmental collapse and climate change.
 
Japan and Finland signed the Memorandum of Environmental Cooperation at the end of the forum, which will pave the way for more intensive cooperation between universities, research institutions, industry and business.
 
The importance of international co-operation was highlighted by the European Commission's Vice President Jyrki Katainen: 'The circular economy is the industrial leg of fighting climate change. The public sector cannot tackle this by itself; we need co-operation with the private sector.'
 
WCEF2018 was attended by 1,000 world economy reformers from over 80 countries who gathered in the Japanese city of Yokohama. They showcased some of the world's best circular economy solutions and the event offered a platform developing new ideas and partnerships. WCEF2018 focused on building a shared vision for the circular economy towards the year 2050.
 
'We need to have something to strive towards and not let our fears of the unknown and of change limit us and our actions,' Mikko Kosonen, President of Finland’s Innovation Fund Sitra, told delegates.
 
Forum themes included economic benefits and social equity of the circular economy; sustainable lifestyles and consumer solutions; energy and climate; global value chains and trade, as well as the mobility revolution and circular solutions for reducing plastic waste.
 
What is a circular economy?
 
The aim of the circular economy is to take virgin and non-renewable natural resources out of economic growth so we manufacture using recycled materials. It should in turn stop the over consumption that's caused global warming and climate change, alarming loss of biodiversity and the over-use of natural resources.
 
'It’s time for us to face the culprit of these crises: the evergrowing consumption of energy and materials, and the unsustainable use of natural resources. We should not only try to treat consequences, but we must address and cure the root cause itself,' says Mari Pantsar, who leads the Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy programme at Helsinki-based Sitra.
 
The WCEF2019 takes place in Helsinki  3-5 June 2019.
 
 
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