EIT Climate-KIC joins circular economy side event at UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

“Bold leaders are needed to drive a collaborative approach that will push all of us to leave our comfort zone and open up a new world of sustainable possibility,” said Head of Circular Economy Cliona Howie during an online side-event at this year’s digital version of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Co-organised by the Government of Slovenia and the European Economic and Social Committee, the webinar aimed to discuss how to make circularity work for a just transition to climate neutrality. 

The HLPF annual meeting is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Usually hosted in New York City, it was held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cliona Howie presented examples on how EIT Climate-KIC is working to leverage collective knowledge and expertise to ensure that the post-COVID-19 recovery is aligned with climate and SDG commitments.

“What we are offering on the ground is system innovation as a service to help Europe deliver a transformative green recovery,” said Howie. Systemic change, she added, is “a shift from ‘singular interventions’ – which might provide amazing solutions in a single place, at a single time, for a single thing – to something that is really addressing the complexity of the global climate challenge.”
“As we plan an economic recovery, it is critical that we look beyond the easier, carbon-intensive options. The answer lies in circular, systemic solutions that will transform our society in an unprecedented way,” said Howie.

Working “where the challenge sits inside an ecosystem”

In practice, EIT Climate-KIC designs cross-cutting holistic programmes (so called Deep Demonstrations) based on the needs, demands, and contexts of a certain ecosystem. The aim of the “Circular, Regenerative Economies Deep Demonstration” is to help challenge owners – which can be public authorities at the national, regional or city scale, but also entire value chains – “understand what a circular transition looks like, how they would implement it, how they would even start pulling it together, how they would meet objectives that really help them to design a resilient sustainable future, all while meeting very pressing climate targets,” explained the expert.

The approach aims to identify the scenarios, pathways and available options for system change consistent with a 1.5-degree future. It is already being tested in many places around the EU including in Slovenia, where nine ministries are working together with EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Raw Materials and the EU’s Joint Research Centre on 17 inter-connected programmes across multiple levers of change from education to policy, consumer behaviour, innovation support and capacity building. “Slovenia has been an incredibly exciting journey thus far and we’re really looking to implementing on the ground very quickly,” said Howie.

Listen to the full recording of the webinar with Cliona Howie as well as Peter Schmidt (Sustainable Development Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee EESC), William Neale (European Commission Directorate General Environment), Meta Gorišek (State Secretary from Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia), Janja Kreitmayer McKenzie (EU Coordination and International Affairs Service, Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia), Hatty Cooper (Circle Economy, Coordination Group of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform), Mark Hidson (ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability) and Stefan Back (EESC).

 
Location
Articles you may be interested in
Opinion
Going beyond investments in single-point solutions, an Opinion by Kirsten Dunlop
Kirsten Dunlop CEO, EIT Climate-KIC
Going beyond investments in single-point solutions, an Opinion by Kirsten Dunlop
In The News
The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities d...

While the challenges of climate change and a global...

The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities deliver? 
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC and the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia...

EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s largest coal region in the face of the climate crisis
In The News
Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the...

Speaking online at the inaugural Conference of IS4CE—the International...

Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the Circular Economy Conference
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate...

Eleven climate innovation projects across Europe tackling COVID-19 related...

EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate job creation and support a post COVID-19 green recovery
In The News
CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum

On 25 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the Climate Policy...

CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum
In Detail
A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy,...

EIT Climate-KIC’s views on the EU 2030 Climate Target Plan.  The recent announcements from the European Commission on the EU Recovery Plan from the...

A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy, society and citizens
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability a...

The LOOP-Ports project, led by the Fundación Valenciaport  and funded by EIT Climate-KIC,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability award
In The News
EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward

On 24 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the 7th Green...

EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Opinion
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
In Detail
Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition

EIT Climate-KIC provides ideas for action under the European Climate Pact. The debate on how to achieve ambitious climate targets is often dominated by...

Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC’s Director of Sustainable Land Use and member...

EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s largest global digital conference on the environment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its c...

Climeworks, the world leader in capturing CO2 from air,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its carbon dioxide removal capacities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of h...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros Hyperloop has completed a financing...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of hyperloop in Europe
In our community
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
In Detail
Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT ...

EIT Climate-KIC partner the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), which works on changing how public value is imagined, practiced and evaluated...

Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT Climate-KIC’s Landscapes as Carbon Sinks Deep Demonstration
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
In Detail
Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach

The challenge-led system mapping approach responds to the need to improve the practitioner’s capacity to move towards system change by providing mechanisms by which...

Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to provide “systems transformation as...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate change
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’

EIT Climate-KIC, together with Edgeryders, ETH Zurich and IOTA,...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Opinion
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
In The News
Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots

Yesterday, EIT Climate-KIC community member ‘Co-Action,’ a carbon capture...

Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots
In Detail
Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An int...

The UN Environment convened Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) recently published a working paper, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, on the implications of the COVID-19...

Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An internal framework for response strategies
In Detail
A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights

Last week, in an event supported by EIT Climate-KIC, over 150 participants from more than 60 countries took part in a virtual ‘cartoonathon’ to...

A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green rec...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ‘Extraordinary Post COVID-19 Regeneration Call 2020’ will...

EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green recovery
Opinion
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Innovation Spotlight
How to engage citizens in a just transformation process

With climate change, we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime – one that...

How to engage citizens in a just transformation process