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EU circular economy receives financial boost

EU circular economy receives financial boost

November 8, 2016

The European Commission (EC) has approved a further investment of €222.7 million ($246.1 million) into the circular economy package.eu_flag_pont_mont_blanc

The EC reported it would be axing its plans for a circular economy in January 2015, before reconsidering and revealing it would increase funding, launching a public consultation, to which both UKCRA and ETIRA contributed their views from remanufacturers. However, reports suggested it would dilute any circular economy package, and doubted their potential.

Despite this, the new package was launched in December 2015 and adopted that month, with a packaging waste recycling target of 75 percent for member states by 2030, and received a funding boost of around €24 billion ($26.3 billion) from the EU soon after. Deputy Head of the European Commission’s Waste Unit, Julius Langendorff, stated it “will take more than” a year to implement, though it was said to be “progressing well” in April, before being questioned again in June.

The EU had also previously revealed it was planning “tough” enforcement of the circular economy package, while other areas of the EU warned earlier this year that the package could be seen as a “threat” to certain stakeholders. One recent development saw Germany allegedly plan to “call for removal of EU recycling targets”, though rumours suggested the plan could be approved early next year, and most recently concerns were raised that it might be “watered down”.

Now, CIWM Journal has reported that the EC has approved investment worth €222.7 million “from the EU budget to support Europe’s transition to a circular economy”, with this funding set to “spur additional investments” and lead to a total of €398.6 million ($440.4 million) to be invested in “144 new projects in 23 member states”. The financial boost has come from the LIFE programme, which forms part of the Environment and Climate Action unit.

€323.5 million ($357.4 million) will go to “projects in the field of environment and resource efficiency, nature and biodiversity and environmental governance and information”, with 56 projects using €142.2 million ($157.1 million) from LIFE, of which €71.9 million ($79.4 million) will come from the EU. The projects cover “actions in five thematic areas”, which include air, environment and health, resource efficiency, waste, and water, and 21 of the resource efficiency projects “alone” will use €43 million ($47.5 million) “that will facilitate Europe’s transition to a more circular economy”.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “I am delighted to see that this year again our LIFE programme will support many innovative projects to address our common environmental challenges. LIFE-funded projects use relatively little funding and with simple ideas to create profitable green businesses that deliver on the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy.”

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, added: “With the Paris Agreement entering into force, we must now focus on delivering on our promises. These projects will create the right conditions to promote innovative solutions and spread best practices in reducing emission and adapting to climate change across the European Union. In this way they support the EU’s implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Circular economy EU Europe

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