The government will begin to implement its circular economy strategy, España Circular 2030, in November

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, closed the first Conference series on the Circular Economy, organised by Funseam and the Repsol Foundation. In his talk, Moran stated that the circular economy is a key objective for the government because it represents the change of economic model needed to make the planet’s future sustainable.
El Gobierno empezará a implementar la estrategia España Circular 2030 este mes de noviembre

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España Circular 2030's objective is to reduce material consumption with regard to the GDP by 30% and decrease waste production by 15% compared to 2010. It is a strategic document approved in June following a motion by six ministries. To implement it, the government plans to establish three-year action plans, the first of which will soon be announced. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Hugo Morán, noted that the main sectors the first plan focuses on are production, consumption, waste management, secondary raw materials, and water reuse.

The government’s strategy will be supported by the Contaminated Soil and Waste draft bill, which is being created and will be submitted for approval in Congress in the first quarter of 2021.

Morán expressed his gratitude for this series being organised as it complements the government’s work to develop effective circular economy policies: “I am certain that the energy sector will play a fundamental role in this transition to the circular economy and that we can count on its collaboration to implement a new model for growth in Spain that is greener, more sustainable, resilient, low-carbon, and circular.”

María Teresa Costa, director of the Energy Sustainability Education and Research Program at the University of Barcelona, welcomed those attending the session and noted that a climate neutral future requires a transformation process that is progressing at what continues to be a slow rate. In her opinion, the circular economy affects us all and collaboration is key to bringing it about: “Today, survival in markets requires sustainability and demands that companies work together with the region, administrations, research centres, universities, and also with other companies, even their rivals.”

Joan Batalla, general director of Funseam, spoke to summarise the primary conclusions we can take away from this first year of the Conference Series on the Circular Economy, which included companies from very diverse sectors. All of them apply innovation in digital technologies, which are necessary to drive the production model that must create value for companies, investors, and society: “There is not one single route to decarbonisation. Every production sector must define its circular strategy, considering the benefits and limitations of the various technology options when meeting their sustainability challenges.” The series presented business models that can be used to make the most of opportunities offered by the circular economy. “At Funseam, we believe this change is possible. Although it must still be promoted,” he said.

Antonio Brufau, chairman of Repsol, also participated in this final session, noting that the energy transition and the fight against climate change are a priority and the circular economy is part of the solution. “We must rethink how we produce and consume. The private sector, public administration, and consumers play a basic role to facilitate and drive change to a more efficient, sustainable, and circular economy.” Brufau stated that the circular economy is a strategic focus for Repsol, which plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is demonstrated by two of the projects the company is working on. First is the construction of one of the largest plants in the world of synthetic fuel using green hydrogen, created with renewable energy. The other is the first low-emissions advanced biofuel plant in Spain, which will be built in Cartagena.

Toward a circular economy: the projects we have seen

Over six weeks, more than 1000 people connected online to the Conference Series on the Circular Economy, organised by Funseam and the Repsol Foundation. The objective was to reflect on the need for a change of production model and the potential offered by the circular economy both for economic growth and the fight against climate change. Four of the six sessions were focused on specific topics, discussing industrial processes, renewable energy, CO2 capture, and new consumption patterns. In this way, we were able to become familiar with companies that are working on pioneering projects with viable solutions to reach zero emissions in the near future. From large multinational companies to small start-ups.