Rammeverk for overvåking av den sirkulære økonomi (revisjon 2023)

Rammeverk for overvåking av den sirkulære økonomi (revisjon 2023)

Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet, Rådet, Den europeiske økonomiske og sosiale komite og Regionsutvalget om et revidert rammeverk for overvåking av den sirkulære økonomi
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on a revised monitoring framework for the circular economy

Dansk departementsnotat offentliggjort 14.6.2023

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BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen)


In 1972, the Club of Rome’s report, The Limits to Growth, warned about the environmental and climate consequences of the current unsustainable growth model, which was based on the global consumption of 28.6 billion tonnes of materials every year. In the 50 years since the publication of this report, the trend of ever-increasing demand for resources has become even more worrisome. Since 1972, the global use of materials has nearly quadrupled, rising to 54.9 billion tonnes per year in 2000 and surpassing 100 billion tonnes in 2019. Worldwide material use is projected to reach 167 billion tonnes per year in 2060.

The natural regeneration capacity of the planet has not been able to absorb the exponential rise in the extraction of resources, which are then quickly discarded into our atmosphere, water bodies and land. Nature’s global and interconnected system has been knocked off balance, and is now reaching breaking point, as the devastating impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss are severely felt around the globe.

Resource extraction and resource processing are responsible for half of total greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress. Cutting GHG emissions and reducing primary material use are two sides of the same coin. The important link between biodiversity and the circular economy in increasingly recognised. Unless we radically transform the way we use materials to meet our needs, promoting change throughout our systems of production and consumption, we can neither substantially reduce our emissions, nor preserve nature for the current and future generations.

Most materials, together with the embedded energy and other resources used in their production, are lost at the end of their initial economic cycle: global material circularity decreased from 9.1% in 2018 to 7.2% currently. In the EU, 8.1 billion tonnes of materials are processed into energy or products annually, but only 0.8 billion tonnes of this originate from recycling. Although the rate of circularity of material use in the EU has been increasing and in 2021 was at 11.7%, 3.4 percentage points up from 2004, there is significant potential for improvement, in particular by increasing the use of recycled materials and reducing the amount of materials used in the economy.

The EU economy depends on raw materials from the rest of the world. In 2021, the EU imported 1.6 billion tonnes of materials from the rest of the world. Metal ores and fossil-energy materials accounted for 58% of these imports. Moreover, the EU’s supply of critical raw materials, which are required for the green transition, is exposed to significant risk and often associated with adverse environmental impacts in third countries. As part of its recent initiatives on critical raw materials, the EU is stepping up efforts in assuring their circularity in the broad sense, and in particular strengthening the recycling capacities, systems and technologies to produce secondary materials in the EU.

By reducing EU demand for primary resources and energy, the transition to a more circular economy has the potential to increase our resilience, reduce our dependencies on imports of energy and materials, while contributing to the clean energy transition. This is even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and in the context of the ongoing brutal war of aggression by Russia against Ukraine. The contribution of the circular economy to security of supply is particularly important as the demand for key raw materials from the renewable-energy and e-mobility sectors will increase greatly between 2030 and 2050.

The transition to a circular economy is therefore a unique opportunity to make our economy more sustainable, competitive and resilient: it contributes to climate neutrality; preserves biodiversity and ecosystems; improves security of supply and alleviates strategic dependencies on raw materials; creates local decent and green jobs; and boosts innovation. Circularity is a key instrument to foster competitiveness and offers a major opportunity to increase resource productivity, employment and growth as highlighted in the long-term competitiveness strategy of the EU looking beyond 2030. Doing this will also help achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals. Therefore, monitoring trends in areas related to the circular economy is needed in order to assess the effectiveness of policies and actions and help identify gaps and success stories across the EU.

In January 2018, the European Commission adopted the EU monitoring framework for the circular economy composed of a set of key indicators to track progress in the EU and in Member States. Other EU institutions welcomed the monitoring framework and in the context of its revision they have emphasised the need to put a greater focus on the production side rather than focusing on waste and to use footprint indicators.

In line with the commitment in the new circular economy action plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe, this communication presents a revised monitoring framework that captures the circular economy focus areas and the interlinkages between circularity, climate neutrality and the zero pollution ambition. This monitoring framework takes account of the circular economy priorities in the context of the European Green Deal, the 8th environment action programme, the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the EU’s security of supply and resilience objectives.

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