08 May 2024, 13:40
Benjamin Wehrmann

Industry calls on German government to agree coherent National Circular Economy strategy

Clean Energy Wire

The industry-affiliated NGO German CEO Alliance for Climate and Economy (Stiftung KlimaWirtschaft) has called on Germany’s government to come up with an ambitious plan to increase the number of circular economy projects in the country. The government is currently debating the National Circular Economy Strategy, which is aimed at reducing resource use and boost recycling across the economy. “A circular economy has the potential for creating higher growth, more resilient supply chains, lower CO2 emissions and reduced resource consumption,” the NGO stated in a position paper. Uniform standards are needed for businesses to stay internationally competitive, the alliance argued. “If the circular economy is going to be a business case, policymakers must set the framework for that,” said NGO head Sabine Nallinger.

However, key questions remain unanswered in this regard, she argued. “Digital product passports, recycling quotas, waste regulation. The economy needs clarity and also financial incentives for circular business models,” Nalligner said. Klemens Haselsteiner, CEO at construction company Strabag, said transitioning to a circular economy “is a joint challenge” in which businesses could take care of the supply while the public sector had to create the demand. “In public procurement procedures, circularity should be made a fixed criterion,” Haselsteiner said. Speaking for circular waste management provider Interzero Circular Solutions, CEO Sebastian Krol called the circular economy “decisive for resolving the climate crisis.” Promoting abstention is no replacement for making customers more aware of material supply chains and sustainable production procedures, Krol argued, calling for a product design that considers longevity, repairability and recyclability.

Circular economy concepts have increasingly shifted into the focus amid energy transition efforts in recent years to increase supply security, reduce costs and make processes in the economy truly sustainable. Besides technologies such as renewable power installations or electric vehicles, the construction sector holds vast potential for better reusing and recycling raw materials.

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