Creating a more circular economy could generate 700,000 net additional jobs by 2040 and savings of up to $200 billion annually, according to the Netherlands’ Minister for the Environment Stientje van Veldhoven.
Van Veldhoven made her comments during the third day of the World Economic Forum (WEF), held on Wednesday.
She noted that moving towards greater circularity is imperative for the environment and for economic recovery and growth, adding that achieving greater circularity would lead to repairing and reducing wasted resources.
“The pandemic has reinforced the fact that wasting resources is wasting money,” she said.
In its third day, the WEF focused on the actions that can be taken to switch to a green and eco-friendly economy, in addition to the importance of circular innovation for an economic reset in the post-pandemic stage.
The WEF hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said that while globalisation and growth have lifted many people out of poverty, millions of others, even in rich countries, face dimmed prospects for wage growth and increasingly limited access to healthcare and education.
The Russian president noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the shortcomings of the global economy, which are a direct result of the policies of the last century, adding that these policies led to excessive deregulation and minimal taxes for the wealthy and for corporations.
“It's important to move from general statements to actions when it comes to reducing social and economic inequality. A person should have a comfortable environment to live in, and countries should focus on building an economy that doesn’t view people as a means, but places them at the centre,” according to the Russian president.
Caroline Anstey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pact, said that the world needs trillions of dollars in order to be able to finance the transition to zero emissions and a green economy, especially in hard-to-abate industries.
In this regard, Mark Carney, the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, noted that global net-zero commitments are cascading down through the private sector, adding that all countries must unlock blended finance flows, a mixture of public and private money to deal with climate change.
"We need to have a focus on it so we can unlock all forms of finance,” Carney expounded.