HELSINKI, July 12 (Xinhua) -- EU environment and climate ministers on Friday urged the European Union to continue its policies supporting circular economy.
In a meeting in Helsinki that concluded on Friday, the ministers discussed the need to draw up an update on the circular economy action plan of the EU. The ministers noted that new measures are needed especially in areas concerning construction, textiles, mobility and food.
According to a news release issued after the meeting, Finland will be preparing conclusions on the circular economy based on the discussions. The EU Environmental Council will then discuss the prospects this autumn. The conclusions will set out how the new European Commission should, in the opinion of the environmental ministers, promote the circular economy over the next five years.
Finnish Minister of the Environment and Climate Krista Mikkonen said on Friday that "through moving from a single-use culture to a circular economy, the EU alone could halve industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 2050".
The competitiveness of the EU must be based on "sustainability, mitigation of climate change and sparing, long-term use of renewable natural resources," Mikkonen listed.
According to the media release, the ministers who convened in the Helsinki Finlandia Hall defined that the goal must be "a society that does not squander natural resources but creates new business opportunities".
On the first day of the two-day meeting, the ministers had mainly tackled the internal problems in the EU on reaching agreement on carbon neutrality in 2050.
Commentators have noted that while issues directly related to the climate change and emissions have proven to be politically difficult in the EU, circular economy as a theme is "politically easier".
"Circular economy as concept has now heavy political legacy," an EU expert said.