Realizing circularity for a just transition towards net-zero economies in the Mediterranean

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Day: 16/11/2022
Time: 15:00 – 16:00 (Egypt local time, CET+1)
Place: MedPavilion or YOUTUBE
Organised by: MedWaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP with support from Government of Catalonia and the EU-funded SwitchMed Programme

The current climate crisis and material use are intimately linked. It has been calculated than the vast majority of GHG are generated by extraction and handling of material resources (70%) (Circle Economy 20221). Governments and corporations have mainly focused their attention on renewable energy, energy efficiency and technological innovation, overlooking the great potential of SCP and the Circular Economy (Gilby, et al. 2019).

A just transition to Circular Economy has a number of beneficial effects on the economy, the environment and society, if adopted systemically and supported by effective policy-making. SCP and Circular Economy not only tackle GHG emissions, but can create wellbeing, generating decent job opportunities and diversifying livelihood as pinpointed by the latest report of the IPCC on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities (IPCC 2022). Based on the First Mediterranean Assessment Report (MAR1), published by MedECC in November 2020 and presenting the current situation and the future risks related to climate and environmental changes in the Mediterranean Basin, it is urgent to strengthen strategies towards circularity in selected value-chain of the Mediterranean Economy and enhance their connection with climate change mitigation. 

The objective of this panel is to raise awareness on circular strategies to reduce emissions and carbon-neutral alternatives in key value-chains for the Mediterranean economy: food, construction and plastics. The panelists will also explore crucial cross-border and cross-sectoral partnerships needed to action system changes.    The event will reflect on the nexus between Circular Economy and GHG emissions reduction, exploring the net-zero potential of key value chains, based on circularity strategies and the intersecting multiple opportunities for social and economic development.   


Welcoming remarks, Tatiana Hema, UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan Coordinator – Barcelona Convention  & Dr. Ali Abo Sena, CEO of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA)

Introduction on the Climate Change – Circular Economy Nexus and key opportunities for the Mediterranean, Ms. Magali Outters – MedWaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP (In person).  

Topic 1 –  Fighting Climate Change Enabling Circular Food Systems, Mr. Sergio Ponsá Salas.  Director. BETA Technological Center – University of Vic

Topic 2 –  Circular Innovation in the Construction Sector: reducing embedded emissions and increasing material efficiency, Dr. Rifat ünal Sayman, Chairman of  REC Turkey (Resource, Environment and Climate Association)

Topic 3 -The climate cost of fashion, how to reduce it implementation circular economy strategies in the textile sector? Ayman El Zahaby, UNIDO national coordinator of SwitchMed/MED-TEST III in Egypt and technical expert

Final Remarks, Mr Arnau Queralt, Director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS) and chair of the EEAC Network

Moderator: Enrique de Villamore, Director MedWaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP

This side event is organized by MedWaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP, in the framework of the Mediterranean Pavilion.  The Mediterranean Pavilion is co-funded by the Government of Catalonia and the EU-funded SwitchMed Programme