The success of a transition towards a sustainable circular economy does not merely depend on the development of new technologies but also in the reconfiguration of the governance of productive processes into more democratic and participatory mechanisms. JUST2CE aims to understand, in a thoughtful way, under which conditions a responsible, inclusive and socially just transition to a circular economy is possible and desirable, what technical, geopolitical and social factors can enable or hamper such transformation and how these aspects can contribute to the development of transitional policy measures. The session highlighted enablers and drivers to implement a successful transition to a Circular Economy, giving voice to CSOs and stakeholders both from Europe and Africa.
The current linear economic model that depends on extracting natural resources and producing items that will eventually be thrown away, was highlighted as not being sustainable. While a circular economy can provide the solution, the panel heard how it is not simply a case of needing technological innovation, but also the importance of attaining social justice. In Africa, 400 million people live in poverty and a transition to a circular economy must not place additional burdens on these people. This means ensuring decent work, gender equality, opportunities for disabled people, and improved access to clean water and sanitation.