Circular economy: comments from European Academies with Swiss lead
The issue of a circular economy has been controversial since the new European Commission decided to cancel proposals from 2014, that would have encouraged a circular economy, and to issue a new package by the end of 2015. The European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) responded with the contribution by a working group of natural scientists and economists to the debate on the principles and objectives of the European policy.
Their comments provide natural and social science perspectives of the issues at stake. They include a summary of the conclusions of recent studies on the estimated potential benefits of a circular economy as well as some of the history on the evolution of the political debate from recycling, resource efficiency to the current term circular economy.
Delegated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, Professor Gunther Stephan chaired this EASAC Working Group. Holding positions at the Department of Economics and the Oeschger Center of Climate Change Research of the University of Berne, he has an expertise from both the natural and social sciences.