Scholars to explore cutting-edge research on Circular Economy Economic Modeling in Leuven

The joint workshop on Circular Economy Economic Modelling, supported by the EAYE and the EU & ANR projects: IAM-Circ, Circomod, CircEUlar and ScarCyclET, will take place on the 1st of July 2024 in Leuven. This workshop will precede the Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) and aims to provide a platform for researchers, especially young non-tenured economists, keen on advancing our comprehension of the economic dimensions within circular economies. (see the programme here)

The workshop will delve into a variety of subjects concerning the circular economy and the intricate modeling challenges it entails. Notably, the speakers will shed light on the implications of public policies that are particularly scrutinized in the context of the circular economy. These policies include advanced disposal fees in Extended Producer Responsibility, product standards, regulations on recycled content, and waste disposal taxes. The speakers related to these topics include Xi Sun (DIW), Darius Corbier (CMCC), and Miao Dai (University of Montpellier).

Researchers are working to detect economic mechanisms specific to raw and secondary material and product markets. Enhancing our comprehension of economic mechanisms is crucial for shaping effective public policies and supporting stakeholders engaged in the implementation of a circular economy while ultimately ensuring social and environmental benefits. For instance, Eugénie Joltreau (CMCC) will shed light on rebound and backfire effects mechanisms within the circular economy, exploring cases where resource efficiency initiatives inadvertently lead to increased resource consumption. Miao Dai (University of Montpellier) will detail the supply-side connections between virgin and recycled materials and describe in which conditions the value created by recycling is passed on to primary resource producers via prices. Adil Boufarsi (University of Grenoble-Alpes) will demonstrate the importance of taking credit constraints into account when analyzing the effectiveness of a recycling subsidy. Stefani Rivic (TU-Wien) will offer insights into market responses to significant reductions in primary plastic prices, as evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The presentations will particularly focus on material flows within the economy, with contributions from Lucas Straub (University of Utrecht) and Stefani Rivic (TU Wien). The way materials circulate in terms of both economic value creation and environmental impact are core concerns of the circular economy. To better grasp policy implications regarding material flows, researchers will explore the influence of circular economy policies on material recovery rates and material utilization (Xi Sun DIW, Miao Dai (University of Montpellier), Darius Corbier & Eugénie Joltreau (CMCC), Xinyu Li (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)).

Although the circular economy primarily focuses on materials, expected co-benefits extend to addressing other environmental challenges and crises. Most presentations of the workshop will draw connections between the circular economy and climate change, with insights from Xinyu Li (PBL), Darius Corbier (CMCC), Lucas Straub (University of Utrecht), Malin Wiese (Leipzig University), Xi Sun (DIW) and Eugénie Joltreau, (CMCC). However, the circular economy may also entail a trade-off with other environmental factors. Of particular interest, Xinyu Li (PBL) will examine the potential convergence or divergence of climate and resource policies within the framework of the EU Green Deal. Additionally, Malin Wiese (Leipzig University) will provide further elucidation on the intersections with the economics of biodiversity.

Researchers will discuss their modelling work, with many employing macroeconomic models or integrated assessment models (IAM) that bridge nature and the economy. Lucas Straub (University of Utrecht) has expanded an IAM model to explore the linkage between circular economy strategies and climate change mitigation. Malin Wiese (Leipzig University) has further developed an IAM model (DICE, Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy), adding linkages with climate and biodiversity. Darius Corbier (CMCC) has developed a DGSE (dynamic stochastic general equilibrium) model to examine the socio-economic and climatic impacts of demand-side circular economy strategies. Xinyu Li (PBL) has enhanced a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to incorporate material intensity endogenously.

This workshop will allow attending researchers to get detailed feedback on their work from senior researchers and show the circular economy research community the latest research advances in the field. 

The event will also present a keynote address by Aude Pommeret (Université Savoie Mont Blanc) on the multifaceted challenges of energy transition and how it relates to circular economy, segueing into discussions on circular economy resource management. Additionally, policy insights from the OECD and the EU JRC will be presented, fostering dynamic discussions enriched by input from attendees from the EU Commission and from various institutions dedicated to circular economy studies. This convergence of expertise promises not only to nurture new collaborations but also to consolidate existing research efforts within EU research institutes, facilitating broader dissemination and application of current findings.

Please see the programme here. The attendance is free. If you are interested in attending the workshop please contact  Julie Metta  at J.Metta [at] tilburguniversity.edu 

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