ECLAC participates in side event at the Global Green Growth Week 2022
The Division for Sustainable Development and Human Settlements (DDSAH) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) participated in the event "Unlocking the potential of Green Growth and Climate Finance Innovations" at the Global Green Growth Week 2022, organized by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), presenting the activities carried out during the year 2022 in the framework of the Declaration of Circular Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Global Green Growth Week 2022 (GGGWeek2022), organized by the Global Green Growth Institute of Colombia, was held from October 24-28, in a virtual format. The main theme of the event was "Unlocking the Potential of Green Growth and Climate Finance Innovations", with the purpose of engaging with leaders and professionals working to contribute to green growth internationally, forging collaborations, and offering participants opportunities for learning and information exchange across a range of sectors and topics.
On October 26, a side event entitled "Circular Economy Strategies for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean" was held with the participation of representatives from local governments, the private sector and international institutions, sharing progress and cases of implementation of the circular economy in their regions and at the international level.
The municipality of Lima, represented by the Head of Environmental Planning, Environmental Engineer Maria Elena Alencar, presented advances in public policies and strategies to promote circular development in the city. Lima has developed ordinance N 2367, which aims to incorporate the principles of circular economy in local management, and the "Circular Economy Strategy of the province of Lima 2023-2030", which aims at sustainable development in local management, taking into consideration environmental and social factors. Some successful initiatives include: the recovery of public spaces with a circular economy approach, bio-gardens in common pots in Lima, and the municipal initiative "Lima reuses", which seeks to extend the useful life of products.
The Government of Antioquia, Medellín, was also represented by the Secretary of Environment and Sustainability, Carlos Ignacio Uribe. To respond to the climate emergency, and within the framework of the Comprehensive Climate Change Plan, the Government of Antioquia has been developing green growth policies focused on the circular economy through the "competitiveness and new economies" action. This action works on three important elements: i) strengthening the capacities of municipalities for better waste management; ii) integrating municipalities to work together towards a circular economy; and, iii) using the circular economy node as a connector to achieve a true circular economy system in the region.
With a vision of circular economy that combines competitiveness with social and environmental sustainability, ENEL Peru, represented by the Head of Circular Economy, Veronica Saenz, presented the circular economy strategies that ENEL is developing in different countries in Latin America. ENEL defines the 5 pillars of its circular economy strategy as: sustainability of resources, extension of useful life from design, products as services, collaborative platforms and new life cycles. From these pillars, ENEL has developed a metrics measurement model, to take circularity measures from a qualitative to a quantitative system with indicators and KPIs to actually determine the level of circularity in each initiative.
Estefani Rondón, DDSAH research assistant at ECLAC, contextualized the region's opportunities in key sectors, based on a "big push for sustainability", combining environmental, economic, social, technological and industrial policies to advance sustainable development in the region. Among the key sectors of this Big Push is the circular economy.
The Declaration of Circular Cities of Latin America and the Caribbean, an initiative led by ECLAC, seeks to generate spaces for discussion to make visible the initiatives and practices that are being implemented in the signatory cities, inviting more cities in the region to join the declaration. In this space, cities can strengthen the capacities of their technical teams as important actors in decision-making, and also have the support of ECLAC during the development of circular economy strategies or roadmaps, and in subsequent processes of implementation of their goals. The declaration facilitates the creation of an open space for cities to transition towards circularity, learning together, sharing knowledge and initiatives to accelerate this process at the international level.
For the implementation of the circular economy to be successful, it must contribute to all three dimensions of sustainable development: social, environmental and economic. And, in turn, it should be able to limit the flow of production to a level that nature tolerates, using the cycles of ecosystems in economic cycles and respecting their natural production rates.