A successful transition to a circular economy requires leadership. Therefore, Denmark and the World Economic Forum have committed to a new partnership to help accelerate the transition.
Climate changes, lack of potable water, increasing volumes of rubbish and a scarcity of natural resources are some of the biggest challenges in the efforts to meet the UN’s world goals. The world needs to transform itself into a circular economy, where we consume less, conserve resources, recycle products and reuse waste in production. In line with these ambitions, the Danish government presented its Circular Economy strategy in September, with a number of concrete proposals as to how Denmark can manage the shift.
The transition towards a circular economy can only succeed if we collaborate on an international level to develop new business models and technological solutions – which should also be available to emerging economies and developing countries. To this end, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has established a global platform for accelerating the circular economy – PACE for short – that Denmark has joined during the “Partnership for Green Growth and the Global Goals” Summit (P4G) that was held last week. The agreement was signed by Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Rasmus Jarlov and the WEF.
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The agreement gives Denmark access to a global network of companies and knowledge institutions that can support the Danish engagement in the area. At the same time, the agreement initiates closer cooperation between the WEF and the P4G initiative, where concrete P4G partnerships will contribute to PACE. This applies in particular to combating plastic pollution in developing countries.
The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs stated “We have a solid partnership with WEF, which will now be even more concrete. We gain access to networks and knowledge, which can strengthen our efforts to promote circular economy and plastic pollution in developing countries. The collaboration with PACE makes sense as a supplement to the P4G initiative. Via P4G we support partnerships that can benefit PACE in the form of concrete solutions. This applies not least to the prevention of plastic pollution, which I personally have engaged myself in and where Denmark also has launched a number of initiatives. ”
The Danish Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen stated “Circular economy is not only a green and golden opportunity – It is also a necessity. Therefore, I am highly pleased that the WEF is focussing on the circular economy and wishes to collaborate with Denmark. PACE will become an essential platform for the development of the circular economy, where we can exchange experiences, and where companies can gain the opportunity to showcase their solutions. It is about getting more value for less, while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact. If more contribute to the circular agenda, the better it will work in practice.”
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The Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Rasmus Jarlov stated “We want Denmark and Danish companies to take a leadership role in the transition to a circular economy. Therefore, the Danish government recently launched its circular economy strategy. A global circular economy will succeed via new partnerships across sectors and national borders. I am happy that Denmark will enter into a partnership with World Economic Forum, which is a renowned organisation.”
The coordinator for PACE, World Economic Forum, Antonia Gawel stated “The transition towards a circular economy requires leadership and public-private partnerships. There is tremendous economic potential, but it is not going occur by itself. The world is experiencing an incredible degree of action when it comes to the movement towards a circular economy for plastic. We should exploit this to demonstrate that the large-scale transition to a circular economy is possible. This is the ambition for the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy and we are pleased to collaborate with Denmark and the P4G initiative to make it a reality.”
Naoko Ishii, PACE co-chairman and CEO for Global Environment Facility stated “It is a great pleasure to welcome a growing number of governments in PACE. There is an urgent need to move the world towards a circular economy, and PACE is a powerful platform that brings a broad coalition of stakeholders together to accelerate action.”