Why CIRCOMOD project

Circular Economy (CE) principles are geared to help to reduce ever increasing amounts of waste, pollutions and exploitation of natural resources harming our environment. Current massive extraction of raw materials, manufacturing and consumption of products are also associated with the extensive use of energy and pose a major challenge for meeting climate goals. The CIRCOMOD project researches how Circular Economy principles can help achieving climate goals.

Can the circular economic system by reducing dependence on raw materials, improving efficiency in production and changing consumption patterns help in reducing Greenhous Gas emissions (GHG)s?

While the answer is likely to be yes, we have no good understanding of the impact, its magnitude, synergetic and rebound effects. The current GHG mitigation models and scenarios that inform climate policymakers do not generally include CE options. They also do not cover the possible synergies of the CE with other societal goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), nor the challenges involved in rearranging value chains and consumer behaviour.


addresses these challenges by developing a new generation of advanced models and scenarios that will assess how CE can reduce future GHGs and material use. It aims for a breakthrough in integrating CE and GHG mitigation assessments by:

Providing robust and timely CE data in an open repository

Developing an analytical framework that maps CE strategies to existing influential climate scenarios

Improving the representation of the CE in leading models used by European and global institutions, while strengthening links between the models.

How CIRCOMOD will help policy making

CIRCOMOD will equip national, EU, and international policymakers with key policy insights by providing: (i) the first-of-a-kind scientifically rigorous modelling of potentials of CE for environmental, climate, and economic action; and (ii) enriched CE datasets necessary for policy intelligence, monitoring of CE interventions and interactions with GHG emissions and climate. These step-changes will help move the CE from mainly qualitative science to quantitative, robust, data-based, and systems-level impact assessment. It will thereby support improved political decision-making (climate, industry, innovation policy) to safeguard planetary boundaries. These new models will directly influence the European Green Deal’s objectives if utilized by policymakers and inform climate and CE policies globally. As the refinement of nationally defined contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement will become increasingly important in the coming years, CIRCOMOD will provide a much greater understanding of CE contributions.

CIRCOMOD intends to contribute to key international assessments and reports, including those from the IPCC, and the UN International Resource Panel. Core assessment impacts will be:

CIRCOMOD will provide scenario results considering the CE strategies that will widen the strategies currently considered in achieving climate goals;

The new social-economic scenarios describing CE and climate interactions can also provide new insights for The Global Resource Outlook report of the UN International Resource Panel. Focus will include impacts of the resource use, and scenario projections for resource efficiency and sustainable production and consumption, and prospects for decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation;