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Image: Coalición de Economía Circular
A regional coalition, led by UNEP, will support access to financing by the public and private sector, with special emphasis on SMEs — to foster innovation and the implementation of specific projects in the region.
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has launched a
regional coalition that aims to support Latin America and the Caribbean
(LAC) transition to a circular economy. As the region continues to grapple
with the economic impacts of the
COVID-19 pandemic, a
circular economy transition offers new and better growth opportunities to build
a resilient and low-carbon economic
The Coalition will support access to financing by governments and the private
sector, with special emphasis on small and medium
(SMEs), in order to promote resource mobilization for innovation and the
implementation of specific projects in the region.
The need to move away from the conventional, ‘take, make, waste’ linear economy
was already evident in the region even before the pandemic — many countries
still lack recycling
LAC now has an opportunity to build a new wave of development and prosperity
based on circular principles — one that benefits society, business and the
environment; and tackles the root causes of global challenges such as
pollution and climate change.
Led by UNEP, the Regional Coalition on Circular
Economy will create a common vision
for a circular economy transition in LAC, and provide a platform for
cross-sectoral collaboration and knowledge exchange to accelerate
“The creation of this coalition reaffirms the region’s commitment to the
implementation of the 2030 Agenda — with special emphasis on
SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production — through the promotion of
innovation, sustainable infrastructure, and an inclusive and circular economy,”
said Leo Heileman, UNEP Regional Director in Latin America and the
Caribbean. “Acknowledging that unsustainable consumption and production patterns
are the root cause of the three planetary crises we face today — climate change,
pollution and biodiversity loss — we have a unique opportunity to rethink our
linear economy and reshape our unsustainable consumption and production
The Coalition is supported by eight strategic partners — the Ellen MacArthur
Foundation (EMF), the Climate Technology Centre & Network, the
Inter-American Development Bank, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the
Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy Coalition (PACE), the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the
Forum. It will be
led by a steering committee composed of four high-level government
representatives on a rotating basis — starting with Colombia, Costa
Rica, Peru and the Dominican Republic — for the 2021-2022 period.
“As extracting, wasting and ‘doing business as usual’ can no longer be supported
by the planet, it is key to build a common regional vision on circular economy.
The Coalition will help precisely to do that and to implement concrete and
measurable practices,” said Carlos Correa, Minister of Environment and
Sustainable Development of Colombia and Chair of the Coalition.
While many current climate discussions focus on switching to renewable energy
and energy-efficiency matters, which will tackle 55 percent of the total GHG
emissions; a circular economy can help address the remaining 45 percent, which
are generated by the way we make and use products and the way we produce
according to a 2019
The Coalition aims to help the region implement circular strategies through
collaboration between governments, businesses and society as a whole.
“The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is committed to achieving the transition to a
circular economy globally, which requires unprecedented collaboration at all
levels,” says Luísa Santiago, Latin America Lead at EMF. “That is why we are
delighted to announce the launch of a regional coalition that will create an
ambitious common vision for a circular economy transition in Latin America and
the Caribbean, as well as integrating and accelerating regional efforts to
Published Feb 9, 2021 1pm EST / 10am PST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET