The Summit (28-29 March 2022) supported the T20 and G20 under the Indonesian G20 Presidency and this year special focus was also on connecting this process to the work of T7 and G7 under the German presidency. This high-level hybrid meeting brought together senior government officials with top-level academic researchers, NGO leaders, and international CEOs. The theme of the Summit was “Listen to the world: Promoting social well-being within planetary boundaries”.
Recent disruptions in global value chains have brought about new momentum to push forward circular transitions on the global agenda; throughout the Summit, circular economy (CE) was a key aspect. Olaf Scholz (Chancellor of Germany), Mario Draghi (Prime Minister of Italy), Frans Timmermans (Executive Vice-President EU Commission) and Antonia Guterres (Secretary-General, UN) were among the keynote guests. About 4000 people attended online and 400 in-person the event.
In her keynote Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, made specific references to the importance of the circular economy.
Additionally, three panel discussions specifically focused on the Circular Economy that included T20 task force members and participants from the CESD and Sounding Board sessions among other high level representatives.
Panel 1: Circular Economy and Global Value Chains
The pandemic has disrupted global supply chain flows in all sectors from medical supplies to raw materials, wearable consumer goods to electronical materials, etc. Embedding circularity in value chains yields massive positive effects on low carbon trajectories. However, mounting risks of trade tensions between manufacturing and consuming nations, producers and brand owners, hinders the development of circular economy when it would be needed the most. Multi-angle solutions are the only way forward. The session broadened the outreach and impacts of the call for action ‘Reversing the trend: circular economy in the roadmap for global recovery’ and for the main findings of the Intersecting. Panellists: Alex Godoy-Faundez (Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile), Charles Huang (Circular Taiwan Network), Astrid Ladefoged (European Commission), Najma Mohamed (Green Economy Coalition), Mohamad Dian Revindo (University of Indonesia), Nilgün Tas (UNIDO) and Izabella Teixeira (IRP-UNEP).
Panel 2: The growing imperative for Circular Economy
While progress toward a circular economy has gained pace over the last decade, adherence to its key principles is uneven. To drive a faster and less fragmented transition, it will be crucial to bridge key divides within a global governance structure that ensures co-operation and accountability, tracks progress, and steers future efforts. This discussion aimed to address how global co-operation could be enhanced. Panellists: Stientje van Veldhoven( World Resources Institute), Alexander Bonde (DBU), Moekti Handajani SoejachmoeN (Indonesia Research Institute for Decarbonization, Co-chair of T20 Indonesia Task Force 3), Beatriz Luz (Exchange 4 Change Brasil), Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, (GIZ), Michael Zimonyi, (Climate Disclosure Standards Board)
Panel 3: Circular Economy and the Future of Work
This panel was aimed at discussing how the systematic change due to the future transition to a circular economy might impact the labour market and business models. Moreover, it was emphasised that in the interest of a “Just Transition”, multilateral arrangements are needed to discourage economic and social disparities between the global North and South, between and within economic sectors, and between formal and informal workers. Panellists: Anna Barford (Cambridge University), Christina Jäger (Yunus Environment Hub), Kalil Cury Filho (FIESP, Brazil), Stuart Worsely (Green Economy Coalition, UK), Bonmwa Fwangkwal (African Circular Economy Alliance)
The recording of the keynote with Steffi Lemke and teh other panels can be watched here.
(photo and video credits: Global Solutions Initiative GmbH)