In light of The Circularity Gap Report 2024, recently released by the Circle Economy Foundation, it is evident that the global push towards a circular economy is more crucial than ever. Over the past five years, discussions on circular economy principles have surged, but the global circularity rate has declined from 9.1% to 7.2%. This signals a critical juncture where a concerted effort is required to bridge this gap and transition towards a sustainable future.
The report emphasizes the pressing need for a simultaneous green and digital transition in the industry. In the last half-decade, humanity has consumed a staggering 500 billion tons of materials, equivalent to the consumption of the entire 20th century. The global circularity rate’s continuous decline highlights a concerning trend, with the consumption of virgin materials surpassing that of secondary materials.
Accelerating progress towards a circular economy necessitates addressing the root causes of linear impacts and reshaping global systems through policy, finance, and labor reforms. The report advocates for designing circular solutions with a focus on the world’s most vulnerable populations, ensuring that the transition is fair, equitable, and reduces inequalities across labor forces worldwide.
Countries with higher incomes can make a substantial impact by adjusting regulations in industries such as construction and manufacturing. This includes promoting building modernization, incentivizing material reuse, establishing durability standards, and strengthening right-to-repair legislation.
A crucial aspect highlighted in the report is the imperative to facilitate a just transition by reducing labor and skill gaps. This involves integrating ecological disciplines and skills into educational curricula, with short courses addressing the immediate demand for green jobs, such as the TwinRevolution training course.
Read the complete report here.