COP28 Side Event: Accelerating the financing of the circular economy in climate and biodiversity strategies

Panel at our COP28 side event
Start/End date
Sectors in focus
Coordination Group activity type

Investments in climate strategies have mainly focused on low-carbon technologies, deforestation and renewable energy, neglecting the circular economy's potential in the race to meet resource efficiency and energy demand reduction targets. 

However, in recent years the circular economy has emerged as a potential solution for halting climate change and biodiversity loss by addressing problems at source. It's therefore high time that the financial sector pick up the pace of investing in the circular transition.

Although a growing number of sustainable finance instruments can be used to support circularity (such as green bonds, transition bonds, sustainability-linked loans, impact investing and blended finance), mobilising financing for the circular economy is no easy task.  

According to UNECE, one of the challenges of scaling up circular economy business models is that they are still perceived as financially and technically risky, particularly when it comes to investments in middle- and low-income countries. Increased cooperation and dialogue between the circular community and financial institutions, as well as the development of international consensus-based standards are fundamental to making meaningful progress in circular financing.

This COP28 side event, organised by the EESC, the European Commission and the Coordination Group members of ECESP, took place on 10 December. It focused on Accelerating the financing of the circular economy in climate and biodiversity strategies and aimed to:

  • analyse the current challenges in scaling up circular financing,
  • facilitate the dialogue between key financial actors from the public and private sectors, standardisation bodies, policymakers and circular civil society actors,
  • provide key messages on the way forward.

You can watch the session here!

Moderator: Mr Peter Schmidt, NAT president, EESC 


  • Ms Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General, DG ENV, European Commission

Keynote speeches 

  • Ms Valerie Hickey, Global Director for Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy, World Bank
  • Mr Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President, EIB 


  • Mr Christoph Winterhalter, Vice President Policy & Strategy at ISO and Chairman of the Board at DIN, German Institute for Standardisation

  • Mr Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General, European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC)

  • Mr Holger Robrecht, Deputy Regional Director Freiburg Office, ICLEI 

Discussion and round of feedback by the keynote speakers

Closing (moderator)