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  • Jun 20, 2024

LoopedIn: June 2024

Updates from Paul Shorthouse, CELC’s Managing Director

Achieving the full benefits of a circular economy will require policy leadership and new models of collaboration.

In global circular economy policy news, Australia’s federal government announced last month a $23 million commitment to supporting the circular economy as part of its 2024 budget. This is an exciting development to watch given similarities between Canada and Australia – both countries being resource-rich, export-focused nations with low population densities and vast geographies.

The $23M in funding is directed at both programs and legislative functions, including:

  • Setting State, Territory, and federal government targets of building a circular economy towards 2030;
  • Establishing a Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group (CEMAG);
  • Embedding circular economy into its Net Zero sectoral plans;
  • Enshrining circular economy principles into its National Reconstruction Fund; and
  • Creating an environmentally-sustainable procurement policy focused on construction, ICT, textiles, and furniture sectors.

While the federal government in Canada has yet to develop a national circular economy strategy or set broad-based targets, it has demonstrated leadership in a few specific sectors and material streams – most notably through its 2019 Canada‑wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.

The Zero Plastic Waste Strategy was recently reviewed by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (i.e., the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development), who found that 11 of the 16 waste-reduction activities it examined were delivering good results.  At the same time, it pointed out gaps in terms of a performance measurement framework which affects the federal government’s ability to measure how activities are contributing to the Canada‑wide goal.

CELC continues to work on advancing the circular economy in Canada at a national level by focusing on a number of important enablers, including supportive policy.  In the Circular Economy Action Plan for Canada, co-developed by CELC, the important role governments can play through supportive policy is underscored, along with more than a dozen priority actions that governments in Canada can lead on to further support the scale-up of circular economy effort.

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