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  • Célestin Toeset

WCEF2024 Accelerator Session: Partnerships for Circularity - Tackling the Critical Raw Material Value Chain

Excitement builds as we inch closer to the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) 2024. This year's edition, taking place in Brussels from April 15th to 18th, will be a hybrid event, welcoming in-person and online participation. As it has in previous iterations, the Forum will convene leading actors and stakeholders from around the globe to promote emerging solutions and advancements in circularity. This year’s iteration promises to be fruitful, featuring a focused agenda of sessions, plenaries, and workshops planned over the past few months. Tackling key issues with the help of the latest scientific evidence, WCEF2024 is poised to deliver significant progress in the global circular shift.

While the first two days of the Forum will be centred around presentations and discussions on capital and governance, circularity across value chains, and natural solutions, the event is further supplemented by accelerator sessions on the 17th and 18th. These in-depth sessions, curated by WCEF collaborators, will provide a platform for deeper dives into specific topics and offer a chance for participants to engage in a more outcome-oriented manner. In this sense, the Circular Innovation Lab (CIL), together with the Institute of European Environmental Policy (IEEP), will hold a conversation titled “Partnerships for Circularity - Tackling the Critical Raw Material Value Chain”. This event notably builds on the EU’s 2023 Critical Raw Materials Act, which underlines a strategy of projects and partnerships with members of the Global South to secure access to critical raw materials (CRMs) vital to green and digital transitions. Key actions of the Act include:

  • Improved supply chain transparency: Operators and member states will be required to increase the recycling of CRMs from existing products and waste.

  • Monitoring and information sharing guidelines, where the EU will monitor supply chains, share information, and potentially coordinate strategic stockpiles among member states.

  • Forging strategic partnerships to promote responsible sourcing and ensure a lasting supply.

While the session delves into a specific topic, it touches on several issues covered in the Forum’s initial days, especially material demand for the energy transition or the legislative framework for sustainable trade. It further ties into the transnational aspect of the circular transition as Joost de Kluijver (Closing the Loop), Godfrey Ogbemudia (EU Delegation of Nigeria & ECOWAS), Dr. Mohamed Kadah (COMESA), Eddy Kioni (Buenassa), and Oliver Bauchie (Government of Ghana) take the stage. Overall, the WCEF2024 and accompanying accelerator sessions guarantee to be a springboard for accelerating the transition. So, whether you are a seasoned sustainability professional or just beginning to explore the circular economy, the eighth edition of WCEF offers a valuable opportunity to learn, connect, and be part of the movement. 

To register for our World Circular Economy Forum Accelerator session, click here.


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