The European Commission will aim to “absolutely decouple” economic growth from natural resource use in a draft circular economy action plan due to be unveiled in March.
The draft roadmap, obtained by EURACTIV, is described as “instrumental” to deliver on Europe’s objective to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050.
66% of CO2 emissions are directly related to materials management, the document points out, saying “circularity is a major driver of climate neutrality” that should be incorporated into national climate plans developed by EU member states under the Paris Agreement.
“To absolutely decouple growth from resource use, we must change the way we produce, market, consume and trade, and the way we deal with waste,” the Commission says in the introduction to its new strategy.
One of the main objectives of the new circular economy roadmap is a commitment to significantly cut waste. “The amount of residual municipal waste should be halved in the coming decade,” the document states. It also suggests cutting material resource use “by half” although that objective appears between brackets meaning it is still subject to internal discussions.
“By 2030, only safer, circular, and sustainable products should be placed on the EU market,” the document reads, saying the Commission will focus its efforts on “upstream measures” such as “minimum requirements that prevent unsustainable products from being allowed on EU markets.”