ETC CE Report 2024/1 Circular economy and climate change mitigation - analysis and guidance on including Circular Economy actions in climate reporting and policy making

22 Feb 2024

Tom Rommens, Jens Günther, Susanna Paleari, Sören Steger, Philip Nuss, Bart Lahcen, Maarten Christis, Tobias Nielsen, William Keeling

This ETC CE report provides the detailed analysis underpinning the EEA briefing Capturing the climate change mitigation benefits of circular economy and waste sector policies and measures’.

 In order to meet the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030 and beyond, Member States are required to establish 10-year National Climate and Energy Plans (NECPs) for the period 2021-2030. The first final plans were released in early 2020, with final updates to these initial plans anticipated for mid-2024. New final plans are then required in early 2029 for the period 2031-2040. National Energy and Climate Progress Reports (NECPRs) are required biennially (as of 2023) to ensure the status of NECPs and EU progress to targets are continuously tracked.

 NECPs allow Member States to provide comprehensive and integrated plans for national targets, trajectories, and Policies and Measures (PaMs) to achieve EU targets. Mostly PaMs reported in the NECPRs are linked to energy consumption/supply, transport, or agriculture/Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF). Only a small share of measures reported link to waste policies, and currently broader circular economy and resource efficiency (CE) PaMs are less considered than other policy areas.

 Work has been done already to try and connect the two policy areas, yet most are on an aggregated (international) level or are sector specific. This report, instead, focuses on the country level, with the aim to develop knowledge on the mitigation potential of CE actions and to help develop further policy development within the CE and climate mitigation nexus. Second, the report provides guidelines for how countries can include CE PaMs in their climate modelling and policymaking, e.g. in their NECPs and National Determined Contributions (NDCs), drawing on different modelling approaches.