A new report argues that the world’s linear economy is failing people and the planet, and that a circularity gap exists which needs to be closed. The main output of the Circularity Gap report is that the world economy is only 9,1% circular, leaving a massive ‘Circularity Gap’.

Closing the circularity gap

Closing the circularity gap serves the higher objective of preventing further and accelerated environmental degradation and social inequality. The transition to circularity is therefore a means to an end. As a multi-stakeholder model, a circular economy could unite a global community behind an action agenda, engaged and empowered both collectively and individually.

Its systemic approach boosts capacity and capability to serve societal needs, by embracing and endorsing the best humankind has to offer: the power of entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration.

The circular transition thereby provides actionable ways forward to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Our linear model is effectively no longer fit for purpose, failing both people and the planet. Circular economy strategies have the potential to be instrumental in the push to mitigate the associated climate impacts, given that the majority (67%) of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to material management.

Global material footprint ​

The report shows how key societal needs are met and the resource reality behind the delivery. For key needs such as housing, mobility and nutrition, the report reveals the global material footprint. It shows which needs consume which resources.

Our global metabolism visually illustrates what happens with products and materials after their functional use in society. In particular, it uncovers the modest flow of resources cycled back into the economy and helps us estimate how much material is wasted beyond recovery. This exposes how deeply our linear system is still ingrained in our daily lives.

Bridging the circularity gap requires intervention across the full breath of society and action in nations, sectors, supply chains and cities. Major trend corrections are needed to get the global economy on a pathway towards circularity. This report identifies key levers at a global level and points to ‘inconvenient truths’ that provide systemic challenges for moving to circularity by mid-21st century. – www.circularity-gap.world

Read the full report here.

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