Resource Use

London Circular Economy Week: How can cities curb emissions?

London’s Circular Economy Week begins this week to share knowledge on how circularity in the capital can assist in tackling the climate emergency.

The event, organised by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) is the third of its kind and will take place between 1 June and 5 June.

London Circular Economy Week: How can cities curb emissions?Part of LWARB’s Circular London programme, organisers hope to engage businesses, NGOs, innovators and policy makers in discussions on how cities can best assist in tackling the climate emergency – especially following from the coronavirus pandemic – by curbing their carbon dioxide emissions from the production and use of products and materials.

The event will consist of a variety of virtual events, given the current Covid-19 situation. These include:

  • A virtual launch conference on Monday 1 June, uniting city leaders from around the world to share best practice on how cities are using circular economy approaches to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
  • A focus on built environment on Tuesday 2 June, including an online conference and hackathon on regenerative construction and circular buildings.
  • Webinars on Wednesday 3 June bringing together behaviour change and campaigning professionals to share recent insights and successful behavioural intervention work.
  • Panel discussions and keynotes on Friday 5 June to raise the importance of financing the transition to a low carbon circular economy.

Currently, 45 per cent of global carbon emissions come from producing the cars, clothes, food, and other products we use every day. Transforming the way goods and materials are made, used and disposed of is essential in tackling the climate crisis especially as only 8.6 per cent of the 100 billion tonnes of raw natural materials which entered the global economy were reused last year.

Transitioning to a circular economy in London could achieve a 60 per cent reduction in the city’s waste and by 2036 could provide £7 billion-worth of benefits every year in the sectors of built environment, food, textiles, electricals and plastics.

To reflect the many different components of a circular transition, the themes for the week consider:

  • Innovation in cities – how to build collaborative networks for change and accelerate progress at a national, regional and city level
  • Financing the circular economy – how London’s finance sector can help to accelerate circular economy, foster innovation and invest in sustainable businesses
  • Individual behaviour change – encouraging climate-friendly behaviours, the role of citizens in creating demand for circular products and services, and translating climate change anxiety into personal action

Commenting on the week ahead, Wayne Hubbard, Chief Executive at LWARB said: “We need a profound shift to create a more resource-efficient and resilient economy to help meet climate targets – and the time is now to seize the opportunity. As we start our recovery from the coronavirus crisis, we have a major opportunity to build back better.”

“This isn’t a choice between the environment and the economy: but it is a choice between the old linear, wasteful economy, and the new resilient and sustainable circular economy. Circular approaches can minimise waste and ensure a more sustainable use of resources, benefiting businesses and building a stronger economy. A growing number of organisations and individuals are already responding to this need, which is why it is essential to bring leading thinkers and innovators together through forums such as Circular Economy Week.”  

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues said: “Our economy is currently geared towards using resources in a way that is inefficient and unsustainable. A circular economy is part of the solution to the global climate emergency and it requires forward-thinking local authorities, businesses and all Londoners to take action.”

You can keep up to date with the events by following the Twitter hashtag #CEWeekLDN2020 or visit London’s Circular Economy Week website for more information.