Visiting Lecturer: Jason Hickel on our addiction to economic groowth

Jason Hickel is an anthropologist at the London School of Economics and author of The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions.

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The New Circular Economy: Peer review request and first response

Dear Eric,

Surprise! I am at my desk and your email asking me about an eventual independent “peer review” on the current state of science and accomplishment under the heading of Circular Economy arrived moments ago and is staring at me. In fact I was at a conference on just this topic in another country, which was OK, except that I could have given virtually all the talks myself.

I didn’t learn very much, which was disappointing. Waste of time, except it got me thinking more about one aspect of the circularity problem. In brief, most of the elements in the periodic table are now “in play”, and most of them are really “hitch-hikers” obtained from the ores of major industrial metals (copper, zinc, aluminum etc.).

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Circular Economy and Local Development: LDnet Bibliography 0f Leading Print Resources

The LDnet has compiled a very useful Bibliography on Circular Economy and Local Development at https://ldnet.eu/circular-economy-and-local-development/. It identifies 45 carefully selected references and in each case with the corresponding URL reference. Very helpful.

But they are far from the only ones that treat our topic, as you will see if you pop — “circular economy” bibliography — into Google, which reports more than 130,000 eventual references. (Ouch!)

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Towards a circular economy – Waste management in the EU


This report by the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) of EPRS- European Parliamentary Research Service examines the role of waste management in the context of a circular economy transition. The full text of the report is available here: https://goo.gl/9wrXiU

Summary:

Key challenges relate to moving beyond the perception of ‘waste as a problem’ to ‘waste as a resource’. To this end high levels of cooperation are needed between the waste industry and enterprises engaged in circular economy business models. Collecting high quality waste streams for re-use, remanufacturing and recycling also requires citizen engagement and integrated infrastructure development from the municipal to the EU level.

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Barriers & Drivers towards a New Circular Economy

– Freek van Eijk, Managing Director Acceleratio, March 2015

Barriers & Drivers towards a New Circular Economy: Literature Review

The transition to a circular economy requires a systemic approach which makes use of a wide toolkit of policies and measures, across different points of value changes and affecting the full set of private and public stakeholders.

The circular economy is rapidly rising up political and business agendas. In contrast to today’s largely linear, ‘take-make-use-dispose’ economy, a circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. By definition  it is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, as well as new business models such as solutions and services. In a circular economy, the more effective use of materials enables to create more value, both by cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones.

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ACCELERATING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN TAIWAN

Although they’re located on opposite sides of the planet and have very different cultures and customs, the Netherlands and Taiwan have plenty in common. Both are roughly the same size, are densely populated, and see the Circular Economy as an emergent guiding light for economic and environmental policy.
Both the Netherlands and Taiwan are fortunate to have the resources to make big steps. The Netherlands’ environmental efforts have been recognized as being more successful thus far, ranking 36th in the 2016 Yale University Environmental Performance Index (EPI), compared with Taiwan’s 60th. But the EPI primarily measures how a country is doing on environmental metrics like air quality, forest management, etc., and doesn’t account for things like the activities of companies or the “resource footprint” of cities, which are equally significant.
Both countries are taking a leading role on circularity domestically, with numerous initiatives from government and the private sector aimed at encouraging circular urban planning, reducing and reusing waste flows, and stimulating green energy.

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