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10/12/2023 12:30 PM


Time to act – Raising ambition in climate change mitigation through resource efficiency and the circular economy

Event Information

With the devastating effects of climate change becoming increasingly evident, curbing emissions fast is imperative to ensure human wellbeing. However, current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, if implemented, fall short of achieving the global climate targets. A powerful lever to reduce GHG emissions is largely missing from over 70% of Nationally Determined Contributions: The sustainable and circular use of the resources of our common home – planet Earth. 

The research of UNEP’s International Resource Panel (IRP) has shown that resource use drives all aspects of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.  

Similarly, the climate impact of resource use and the crucial importance of resource efficiency and circular economy is progressively finding its way into climate science: In its sixth reporting cycle on climate mitigation, the IPCC focussed considerably more on the climate mitigation effect of material efficiency and the circular economy. Particular attention was given to this topic in the chapters on industry and the social dimension of mitigation.  

Science and solutions will take centre stage in this joint event of BMUV, IRP and the One Planet Network, which will be opened by high-level political keynote speakers - including German Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke. 

High-level representatives of the IRP and the IPCC will discuss scientific findings on the emission mitigation potential of resource efficiency and circular economy. The event will be an opportunity to learn more about the IRP’s upcoming flagship report, the Global Resources Outlook 2024 (GRO24). It proposes innovative solutions for decoupling resource use from wellbeing. It will focus on resource intensive systems, including nutrition, the built environment, and mobility, and how they deliver essential human needs.

On this scientific basis, the event will explore concrete and practical solutions to help bring resource efficiency and circular economy into climate policies. The joint UN practical toolbox “Building Circularity into NDCs” will be presented at the event. To operationalise circular economy and resource efficiency solutions, it is supporting countries to assess, integrate, implement and track circular economy in the context of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to raise ambition. To complete the package, the NDC Partnership will give an overview of how it can support countries with their NDC implementation and update. 

This COP28 side event will continue the path taken by the German government, the IRP, One Planet Network on supporting the effort to bring policies on circularity, resource and climate policies closer together.