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UNECE experts to explore innovative partnerships to accelerate the shift to more sustainable patterns of production and consumption

Advancing progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 12 on sustainable consumption and production is pivotal to sustainable development. Consuming and producing more sustainably – doing more and better with less – contributes to socially and environmentally responsible development in multiple ways. It reduces resource use, depletion and pollution along value chains, and increases the value we extract from those resources, opening up new opportunities for inclusive economic development.

The benefits are significant. A recent study by the Ellen McArthur Foundation estimates that a systemic transition to fully sustainable production and consumption, or a circular economy, would add up to €1.8 trillion to the gross domestic product of the European Union by 2030.

Yet, numerous challenges remain – including unclear and often counterproductive regulations, market failures, lack of institutional capacities, lack of access to technology, and limited awareness among both producers and consumers. The circular economy transition requires innovation – in developing and adopting new business models, product designs, technology, delivery modes, and life cycle management.  

Policy makers, consumers, researchers, companies and the surrounding communities need continuous, multi-level dialogue to understand the opportunities of this transition. Such partnerships around production, infrastructure and public service delivery can serve to develop the right market incentives and regulations, create and monitor more ambitious standards, and design and finance sustainable infrastructure. They embrace a systemic approach that engages multiple stakeholders – from suppliers and producers to consumers and communities.

The UNECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and Public Private Partnerships will meet in Geneva on 26-28 March 2018 to discuss how to address the challenges of shifting to more sustainable consumption and production patterns and facilitating the implementation of a circular economy at national and city level.

This will engage national and local governments, the private sector and civil society in exploring how better to promote and use innovation policy and Public Private Partnerships to achieve sustainable production and consumption. The exchanges will showcase a range of good policy practices in circular production and consumption at regional, national and city level in the UNECE region, encouraging peer learning and exchange among countries and stakeholders.

Registration to the meeting is open at: http://www.unece.org/cicppp12.html