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CML presents the circular economy at the European Academy of Sciences

On 26 and 27 October 2017, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) organized its annual meeting at the Academy of Sciences in Lisbon, Portugal. Prof. Arnold Tukker of CML, Leiden University, was invited to give a keynote speech on a circular economy.

On 26 and 27 October 2017, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC) organized its annual meeting at the Academy of Sciences in Lisbon, Portugal. The seminar was organized in the context of the 10 year anniversary of the European Research Council (ERC), responsible for probably the most prestigious European grant scheme for individual researchers.

Prof. Arnold Tukker of CML, Leiden University, was invited to give a keynote speech on a circular economy. Prof. Tukker argued that an eternal growth of 7% per year cannot exist on a finite planet – without decoupling the economic system will then need to have as input in 100 years all solar energy, in 200 years all water, and in 300 years the material equivalent of the whole earth crust. This clearly is impossible. An alternative path is to embark on a resource-efficient and circular economy. Such an economy keeps materials in closed loops and can provide a much higher growth with the same resource base. Additionally, a human-centered economic system will provide much higher well-being per Euro as an economy that is highly unequal and that lacks e.g. easy access to education and health care. ‘The longer we wait, the more lock-in’s, and the more difficult the transition will become. Let us start to work on a human-centered, circular economy now! ‘ concluded Tukker.