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The Circular Economy Post COVID-19

The Circular Economy Post COVID-19

Published on: December 2020​ Author: Non-Resident Authors: Genre: COVID-19|Healthcare​ Category: Economic Policy​
The COVID-19 pandemic has had severe impacts on human wellbeing and the economy. However, the environmental impacts have been mixed. Positive impacts include reduced emissions, better air quality and less pollution, while negative impacts were observed in terms of increased waste and reduced recycling. Policies focused on renewable energy, waste management and pollution reduction are emerging in green recovery packages and aim to advance green and circular economy efforts globally. These are reflected in economic stimulus packages such as the Next Generation EU Recovery plan and the South Korean Green New Deal. These responses come at a crucial time as global consumption of materials such as biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals is expected to double in the next forty years, while annual waste generation is projected to increase by 70% by 20503. This increase is already driving environmental challenges in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Carbon footprint per capita of the GCC countries is among the largest in the world, and the region is predicted to be “extremely highly stressed” in terms of water by 2040. However, there is a unique opportunity to capitalize on the environmental gains from the COVID-19 pandemic to advance sustainability and resilience.

This Policy Brief explores these environmental challenges and opportunities post-COVID and aims to address the following key question:
-    What policies are needed to enable Dubai’s circular economy?
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