Pollution and Circular EconomyWorking with financial institutions to accelerate the transition to pollution-free and circular economies
Workstreams - activities
Plastic pollution in particular presents one of the greatest risks to the planet’s health, yet the opportunities stemming from circular solutions can bring huge benefits. Without urgent action marine plastic pollution is estimated to double by 2040. However, research shows that a comprehensive circular economy approach could reduce the volume of plastics entering the ocean by over 80 per cent by 2040, reduce virgin plastic production by 55 per cent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent in the sector and create 700,000 net additional jobs. Representatives from 175 nations endorsed at United Nation Environment Assembly 5.2 a landmark resolution to open the negotiations for a global agreement that tackles the root causes of plastic pollution by addressing the full lifecycle of plastic from source to sea.
A transition to a circular economy will require a systemic shift in our production and consumption models. This requires significant funding directed to business models and activities which are often innovative. The global financial sector has a pivotal role to play and a tremendous opportunity to scale up financing of pollution-free and circular solutions. UNEP FI’s work on pollution and the circular economy engages both finance sector practitioners within its membership and representatives from a wider group of stakeholders in the public and private sectors. UNEP FI provides research and guidance, we raise awareness and build capacity within the financial community, and facilitate peer exchange and collective action, at global and regional level.