The Circular Economy has the support of politicians, scientists and environmental groups around the world. Plans to deliver it are central to the way the European Union and the United Nations see the future of our economies - and they are key to the Luxembourg government’s agenda for the years ahead. A comprehensive Circular Economy Strategy has been drawn up and is being rolled out through a series of policies and projects.
For the European Commission, its new Circular Economy Action Plan is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth. Published in 2020, the plan estimates that Circular Economy principles could create 700,000 new jobs by 2030, while also helping the EU to achieve its target of being carbon neutral by 2050.
Strong support from the EU
Underpinning the plan is a clear willingness to use legislation, a good indicator of the EU’s determination on the issue. While much of its work will be to develop policy guidelines, the EU’s Ecodesign Directive, which now regulates the energy efficiency of products such as domestic appliances, is just one example of the Commission using the law to drive change. A first action plan for a Circular Economy was launched in 2015 with 54 different actions and was revised in 2020 under the umbrella of the EU’s Green Deal. The draft regulation on batteries, for example, clearly points to a Circular Economy, a destination already defined for the EU’s waste directives – which were accompanied in Luxembourg by the launch of the ‘Null Offall’ (Zero Waste) strategy. Such measures are statements of intent by the bloc to move towards a Circular Economy.
The EU’s approach is part of a broader consensus that includes the United Nations and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Many of these share the same objectives as the Circular Economy, particularly in terms of our use of natural resources, combatting climate change and encouraging sustainable economic growth. In particular, improving the flows and stocks of raw materials, components and products will play an important part in managing our resources more effectively. The goals were agreed in 2015 by all UN members, including Luxembourg, with a target date for delivery in 2030. The Government has adopted its plan for sustainable development and is striving to deliver those goals in Luxembourg, working closely with the private sector and civil society.
A set of guiding principles for the Agenda 2030
The current Circular Economy strategy builds on previous efforts to pursue sustainable development goals in the Grand Duchy and will take the country to the next level. As a first step, a set of founding principles for a Circular Economy in Luxembourg, in line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, has been defined by the Higher Council for Sustainable Development (CSDD). There are seven of these principles, wich largely support the national Circular Economy strategy:
- create economic, social and environmental value;
- be systemic and holistic;
- respect biological and technological cycles;
- contribute to health, well-being and create positive impacts;
- be regenerative and restorative;
- prioritise diversity;
- act locally and show solidarity.
Luxembourg is determined to succeed with its ambitions for a Circular Economy. Our commitment reflects the growing momentum behind this economic model, both within the EU and beyond. Our highly connected economy and transport links with the broader region make our country an ideal location, and your government is ready to play its part.