Side Event

Circularity as a Game Changer for Climate Action: Upscaling Applied Research and Economic Solutions

DUBAI & ONLINE: On 3 December, UNU will co-organize a COP28 high-level side event exploring circularity as a foundation for climate action.

- Asia/Dubai

On 3 December 2023, UNU and partners will co-organize the COP28 high-level side event, Circularity as a Game Changer for Climate Action: Upscaling Applied Research and Economic Solutions. This in-person event in Dubai, will also be live-streamed on the UNFCCC YouTube channel with interactive audience polling.

Natural systems function in a circular way (carbon, water, and nutrient cycles). These natural cycles could and should be emulated in our economic system in order to cope with systemic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Circularity is transformational, doable and, above all, a means of addressing climate change. The concept of circularity continues to engage researchers, policymakers and practitioners around the globe. While policy progress has been made, particularly in area of waste management, we are a long way from a holistic and universal application of circularity as a foundation for climate action.

Meanwhile, the private sector is moving ahead, prompted by real-life economic benefits, and there are engaging examples to share and learn from both developed and developing countries.

What have we learned so far, where might innovative breakthroughs come from, and how to overcome existing barriers?

This side event will examine key challenges and opportunities and reflect on real examples of success and best practices from the research-policy space and the real economy. Drawing from country experiences, representatives from the United Nations University (UNU), the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (UN PAGE), the Global Alliance on Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation will reflect on circularity as a game changer for climate action in the real economy.

For event updates, visit the UN PAGE website.

Opening and keynote

  • Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, Director of Sustainable Enterprises, Productivity and Just Transition, ILO
  • Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector of UNU

Panel discussion

Moderated by Miranda Schnitger, Climate Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

  • Hon Kavydass RAMANO, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mauritius
  • Hon. Cecilia Nicolini, State Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina
  • Hon. Carla Montesi, Director for Green Deal and Digital Agenda, Directorate-General for International Partnership, European Union
  • Speakers, TBA​​

Research presentations

  • Nidhi Nagabhatla, Senior Fellow and Cluster Coordinator (Nature, Climate and Health, UNU-CRIS
  • Sanae Okamoto, Researcher, UNU-MERIT
  • Edeltraud Guenther, Director, UNU-FLORES

Closing remarks

  • Hon. Albina Ruiz Ríos, Minister of Environment, Peru

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