7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Circular Economy / Sustainable Consumption and Production

EU development policy promotes the transformation towards an inclusive green economy that creates jobs and helps reduce poverty through sustainable management of natural capital. Sustainable consumption and production is about maximising business potential to transform both environmental and social challenges into economic opportunities and provide a better deal for consumers. Addressing this challenge requires a broad set of interventions that go beyond government action to involve the private sector. A mix of smart regulation and incentives at EU level will help businesses and consumers drive this transformation.

Governments need to create conditions that ‘correct’ markets and governance imperfections and failures, and provide suitable economic incentives to producers and consumers to pursue a green, clean and low-carbon economy path. In the private sector, eco-entrepreneurship skills enable people to start viable green businesses and improve their standard of living through sustainable use of natural capital and ecosystems.

The EU promotes sustainable production of raw materials by combatting illegal logging or extraction of minerals from conflict zones. Trade and development policy seeks greater corporate transparency regarding payments made to governments by extractive and logging industries, while industry also has a crucial role to play in making commitments to sustainable sourcing and cooperating within and across value chains.

Tackling the complex challenge of chemicals and waste management effectively is even more difficult when factors such as corruption, economic flows and internal politics play a role, or when actors have limited abilities or resources. Capacity building activities help developing countries establish more robust policies.