27 Jun 2023, 12:06
Julian Wettengel

Germany lacks comprehensive vision for becoming a true circular economy – report

Clean Energy Wire

The transformation into a truly circular economy would have positive effects on climate, resource and biodiversity protection, as well as supply security in Germany - but the country lacks a comprehensive vision, researchers from the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut), Fraunhofer ISI and FU Berlin concluded in a report. “Germany needs to develop a comprehensive and systematic strategy on how the transition to a holistic circular economy can succeed,” said the report, which was commissioned by environmental NGO WWF Germany. Resource use in the country is very high – 30 percent more than the global average in 2019 – which exacerbates environmental problems and presents a risk to supply security while increasing dependencies on certain countries. The report scenarios show that circular economy measures lead to significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions, resource use and land use, while reducing costs for energy supplies as well as dependencies in the long term.

Germany has one of the biggest – and oldest - wind and solar power stocks in the world. Together with batteries from e-cars and storage systems, energy transition waste is set to reach massive scales in the next years, meaning the country will have to show how it can sustainably manage the green technology stock's full life cycle. A rigorous application of circular economy principles could reduce raw material consumption by more than two thirds by 2050 and make a significant contribution to meeting Germany’s climate targets, a research ministry report had found in 2021.

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