World Circular Economy Forum 2018 Report

The second World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF2018) took place from 22-24 October 2018 in Yokohama, Japan. More than 1,100 experts from 64 countries discussed what we are doing today and what we need to do to create a true circular economy by 2050.


At the WCEF 2018, Japan’s State Minister of the Environment Tsukasa Akimoto stated that Japan will advance the circular economy when the world’s third biggest economy takes up the presidency of the group of 20 countries (G20) in 2019. In turn, Finland’s Minister of the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen stressed that Finland’s EU- and Japan’s G20-presidency in 2019 will be a fantastic opportunity to promote the solutions of circular economy and to fight environmental collapse and climate change.

The key outcomes of the forum were:

  1. The world lacks a shared vision of the circular economy
  2. The circular economy improves business, trade and job creation
  3. There is an urgent need for stronger leadership and cooperation

Currently the world lacks a shared vision of the circular economy, but one can be created. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an excellent basis to build a global circular economy strategy, and international organisations such as the UN and G20 are ideal bodies to create a global agenda and promote real action.

The circular economy is a new economic model that improves business, trade and job creation. It removes barriers and promotes collaboration and the free exchange of goods, services and ideas. Solutions that enable the circular economy must be allowed to spread freely around the globe.

There is an urgent need for stronger leadership and international cooperation. Public policy makers and business leaders need to lead the world away from the linear economic model, which has caused global challenges such as climate change, pollution and unemployment.

Download the World Circular Economy Forum 2018 IISD report here (available in English and in Japanese).

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