Esther Goodwin Brown
The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the impact that shocks can have on local economies, pushing us to rethink our economic systems. As the world transcends this pandemic, developing tailored economic support mechanisms is vital for building resilient urban economies. This need for ambitious and innovative policies and interventions constitutes a huge opportunity for cities to transform their economies into greener, more equitable and circular urban economies, leading to a better and sustainable urban future.
People and their skills are an essential lever for transforming our urban economies from linear to circular. To tap into this potential, we need data and evidence. Circle Economy, the UN Environment Programme and ICLEI joined forces to develop easily accessible tools for cities to assess their economic risks and opportunities, and especially to develop an approach for measuring employment in the circular economy. These insights are housed on the Circular Jobs Monitor, a digital tool that maps jobs that drive circular activities. The Circular Jobs Monitor is the first time that data on employment generated in cities engaging in circular economy activities has been made available: https://www.circular-jobs.world/.
To make sure the jobs that are created are good for people as well as the environment, we encourage experts and local policymakers across the world to share lessons learned through implementing circular economy strategies in different contexts — highlighting the opportunities, challenges, and knowledge gaps we need to help fill. In this Networking Event, UNEP and Circle Economy will highlight the importance of including jobs in the circular transition of cities and the relevance of circular jobs to build back better.
Falling under the dialogue of “Future urban economy and finance”, the event will showcase the importance of considering circular economy interventions at the local level for building back better. It will demonstrate that focusing on people and their skills is an essential lever for transforming our urban economies from linear to circular, ensuring prosperity, resilience, and social equity. The aim of this session is to: