Developing circular pathways for a EU low-carbon transition

CircEUlar is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and carried out by a consortium of 10 European organisations. The CircEUlar project aims to understand the dynamics and levers for societal transformation towards a net-zero emission circular economy.

The project will address circularity through three main levers:

  1. societal transformation to limit material stock growth through dematerialisation, material efficiency, and a transition to a service-based economy;
  2. product lifetime extension through repair, maintenance, resale, reuse, and repurposing of obsolete fossil infrastructures;
  3. waste reduction management through collection and treatment systems that optimise reuse and recycling. The project considers three focus areas for deep-dive empirical and modelling analysis, integrated into economy-wide modelling frameworks and pathways assessment: digitalisation, mobility and buildings and household services.
General Objectives

CircEUlar has six specific objectives:

  1. Co-design achievable, desirable and transparent circular economy strategies with policy, industry and civil society stakeholders.
  2. Assess economy-wide circularity and GHG impacts of material stocks and flows in Europe through improved and extended modelling tools based on open-science principles.
  3. Generate and evaluate empirical evidence of circular economy practices in both the provision and consumption of goods and services as a basis for improving modelling tools.
  4. Analyse physical supply chain and economic value chain interdependencies and policy levers by linking industrial ecology models of material stocks and flows with integrated assessment models of climate change mitigation.
  5. Assess the potential contribution of different circular economy strategies and their systemic interactions to net-zero GHG emission pathways by mid-century.
  6. Provide robust insights for national, EU and global policy processes on the impacts and potential of the circular economy for climate change mitigation.
Expected Results

The project aims to deliver novel policy insights to drive a low-carbon circular economy; credible and robust pathways for achieving material efficient climate neutrality in the EU; new modelling and quantification approaches for understanding interdependencies between circular economy and climate change mitigation strategies.