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The environment and the circular economy

Versione italiana     Early in August 2015, US President Obama launched an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the USA and by extension reduce the country’s impact on climate change. Some have signalled it as the USA finally doing something. Others have dismissed it as not enough and merely a President trying to shore up his legacy. However, does this debate about climate change and the environment have anything to do with us in Europe? Indeed, does protecting the environment really matter? Is the environment important to you and me? Are all of these stories of climate change real?         The circular economy and the EU   Within the past decades there has been a growing realisation of the need for greater conservation of resources. In Europe, this has perhaps best been recently manifested through concepts such as low carbon economy, resource efficiency and circular economy. The concepts of the circular economy, which were developed in the 1970s by the Swiss architect and environmentalist Walter Stahel, seek to move away from a ‘linear’ throw-away society, to a more ‘circular’ one that...