European Commission promotes circular economy and green partnerships in Mexico

Yesterday and today an EU delegation led by EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella visited Mexico to promote the circular economy, resource efficiency and sustainable and inclusive growth in the country, opening markets for EU green businesses and entrepreneurs.

This circular economy mission comprises more than 70 representatives from 17 European Member States, employing together nearly three quarters of a million people in the environment, construction, energy, transport and many other sectors. Throughout a number of matchmaking events, they will be discussing with their Mexican counterparts how to turn circular principles into green business opportunities in the European Union and Mexico.

Commissioner Vella said: “On environmental issues, Mexico is a valued partner for the EU in international fora. Now we are joining forces to achieve a circular economy. For this to happen, we need our respective businesses to close this loop. The Circular Economy mission that we are bringing to Mexico this week is how we do it. It is our joint work to turn today’s challenges into opportunities and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The 8th EU-Mexico High Level Dialogue on Environment will be held back to back to the Circular Economy mission on 26 April. The main topics on the agenda are circular economy, biodiversity and forests, air quality and environmental compliance.

The EU and Mexico share an interest in strengthening their cooperation on environmental matters. They will consider ways to follow up on the results of this mission through the exchange of experiences and good practices at a technical level on policies related to the circular economy, the efficient use of resources, and the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Background

The contribution of emerging economies to key environmental challenges and their potential for economic growth make them key partners in promoting the transition to a circular economy.

EU circular economy missions are a major tool to promote sustainable development in a global context, confirming global EU leadership on circular economy and supporting green European SMEs to expand their activities abroad. They consist of a series of high-level political and business meetings to discuss and exchange on topics of mutual interest between non-European countries and the European Commission.

So far the Commission has taken the circular economy concept to Chile, China, Iran, South Africa, Colombia, India, Japan and Indonesia.

As Latin America’s second largest economy, Mexico is an increasingly important regional and global player, and since 2008 one of the two EU’s strategic partners in Latin America.

Mexico has a rich natural resource base and production while consumption patterns are less energy and material-intensive than in more developed economies. However, rapid urbanisation, population growth and rising income are generating a range of environmental pressures.

Mexico has taken important steps to address these challenges by strengthening its environmental policies and institutions and increasing public investment in environmentally related infrastructure, but further efforts are needed.

Mexico generates more than 44 million tons of waste per year and this number is expected to reach 65 million by the year 2030. Approximately 90% of the solid waste ends up in open-air dumps or landfills. With the objective to transform the traditional scheme of waste management into a model based on circular economy, the new government of Mexico made public last February its vision for a national strategy aimed to lead to zero waste.

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