A white paper published jointly by Earth Hour founder and entrepreneur Andy Ridley and sustainability focused consultancy Ecofys argues that the circular economy stands to make a notable contribution to efforts to reach the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set forth in the Paris Agreement. The report addresses the considerable gap left between the reductions countries have already committed to and the end goal, highlighting a gap of some 15 billion tons or as much as 60% of the cuts necessary to reach the goal.

Noting that simply de-carbonizing energy system is far from enough, the report’s authors suggest that the circular economy would be a solution ideally positioned to cutting into another vast source of emissions, amounting to some 50% of worldwide emissions, by replacing traditional production methods with an increasing focus on recycling, recovery, re-use, and models of shared ownership or servicification.

Furthermore, echoing EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella’s statements, Ridley argues that the circular economy also offers new opportunities, citing a 2014 Ellen Macarthur Foundation study which estimated the benefit at close to $1 trillion by 2025.

The World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities’ coming autumn forum in Turku (October 5-7, 2016) will address this market opportunity in a specifically tailored mini-workshop which focuses on the opportunities and benefits this market offers SMEs. The discussion will be led by Linda Fröberg-Niemi of the innovative Finnish circular economy accelerator Smart Chemistry Park.

Read the white paper 

The Ellen Macarthur Foundation study 

Read about Turku’s Smart Chemistry Park 

Register for the WALCC’s autumn forum in Turku and gain expert insights on the business benefits of the circular economy 

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.