The EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, an initiative funded by the European Commission, in cooperation with SABIC is organising the online event The Circular Carbon Economy: Furthering EU GCC Energy Partnership, taking place on Wednesday 15 July 2020 at 11.30 CET / 12.30 KSA time.
Circular economy is currently a global sustainability trend. The transformation from a linear economy, with a substantial waste stream, to a circular economy enables nations to deal with scarcity of natural resources and environment pollution. The circular economy offers an opportunity to reinvent our economy, making it more sustainable and competitive. In these challenging times of the pandemic, when the rules and priorities of our economy and our society are being revisited, decision makers are looking for inspiration for their recovery packages. A Circular Economy framework can provide a more resilient future, setting the basis for the recovery of the economy and the society.
Circular economy and resource management are placed at the centre of the European Green Deal. As a leader on climate change mitigation, the EU has an ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan in place to stimulate EU transition towards a circular economy, including measures to encourage businesses to offer and to allow consumers to choose reusable, durable and repairable products. The EU Circular Economy Action Plan recognises the importance of the global dimension and states that the Commission will co-operate closely with international organisations and other interested partners as part of the global efforts to implement climate change commitments and to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
The circular carbon economy approach focuses on emissions and energy flows and offers an holistic, integrated and inclusive way of approaching climate goals that values all options and encourages all efforts to mitigate emissions accumulation in the atmosphere. All sectors and industries, including energy-intensive ones, have to make significant contributions to the low-emissions transitions. Options include a shift to electrification, lower- emissions gaseous fuels (e.g. hydrogen) for high-temperature heat and feedstocks currently supplied by natural gas and deploying CCUS. Together with energy-efficiency measures, such options can contribute significantly to the EU net-zero GHG emissions objective by 2050.
In the Gulf region, the rapid economic growth of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has placed great pressure on resources and has increased the amount of waste and emissions. While GCC countries have started to explore sustainable solutions, transforming the current pattern of development requires a holistic approach. The region must therefore consider both the concept of the circular economy and the circular carbon economy, comprising three principles: optimizing the consumption of natural resources, maximizing product utilization and recovering by-products and waste.
The GCC currently has emissions’ economies and efforts are being undertaken to reduce the emissions footprint. A relevant approach is the circular carbon economy, championed by Saudi Arabia in the framework of their G20 Presidency this year.
The meeting aims to highlight circular carbon economy challenges, opportunities technologies and policies, discussing low-emissions pathways for both regions and partnerships. It will engage high level experts and representatives from the EC, EU and GCC think tanks, industry and policy institutions.