The virtual summit is organised jointly by the Netherlands' Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Governments, international organisations, knowledge institutions, the private sector and citizens will hold discussions on - and reinforce their commitment to - the transition to a circular economy. The conference will be closed with an Action Statement containing the pledges of the participating entities.
"It's time to change the game. If we want to tackle climate change, we need to look beyond energy efficiency. For a healthy future we have to stop wasting our finite resources, reuse our valuable materials and turn them into new products. Together we can close the loop to a circular economy, a necessity for climate neutrality by 2050. It's time for a major change," says Minister for the Environment and host, Stientje van Veldhoven.
A circular economy entails using raw materials more smartly and carefully, thus avoiding waste and pollution. Circularity goes far beyond just recycling waste. Changing the entire chain as part of the transition to a circular economy will help bring about a sustainable economy and better living conditions. Innovation and collaboration are core to this transition.
"Overuse of natural resources is a major source of climate emissions. The circular economy provides us with a tool to tackle the climate crisis, to address the loss of biodiversity and to reduce our material consumption in an economically viable way," says Jyrki Katainen, President of The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, co-host of the event.
Speakers include among others:
Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands' Minister of Foreign Trade
Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG)
Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips and Chair of the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)