Statement by Vivianne Heijnen, Minister for the Environment, at the G20 in Bali


"Let me be clear: a circular economy isn’t ‘nice to have’. It is ‘need to have’. Especially if we want to tackle all three planetary crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution." Heijnen, at the G20 seminar ‘Achieving environmental objectives towards sustainable recovery', August 31.

Madam Chair, colleagues,
First of all I’d like to thank the Republic of Indonesia for its hospitality and for organising the G20 meeting on the spectacular and beautiful island of Bali. 

Before I start, I would like to say that the Netherlands joins the EU, France, Germany and Italy and other countries in strongly condemning Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine.

The Netherlands very much welcomes the references in the G20 communiqué to resource efficiency and circular economy. Offering us prospects for a clean, climate neutral and sustainable future. A future with zero waste and zero pollution, and a healthy environment for people and for nature.

Let me be clear: a circular economy isn’t ‘nice to have’. It is ‘need to have’. Especially if we want to tackle all three planetary crises – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. 

In our current linear economic system, we’re running out of natural resources. We use too many raw materials, and waste too many too fast. 

A circular economy isn’t ‘nice to have’. It is ‘need to have’

By improving our use of resources, we can reduce annual global emissions by 20 per cent by 2050. A circular economy should therefore be part of our ‘mainstream’ instruments to achieve climate goals. 
In the Netherlands, we’re taking robust action to harness the benefits of circularity. The government-wide programme for a circular economy outlines how we can transform our economy into a sustainable, fully circular economy by 2050. 

A circular economy approach can also help to tackle plastics pollution at the source. Yesterday I visited several projects in Bali, on waste collection and waste prevention. And I’m impressed by all the initiatives to phase out plastics pollution and the results achieved so far. 

In the Netherlands, we can still do a lot to improve waste recycling. But let’s not forget that reuse and refill models can actually prevent a lot of waste. Resulting in lower costs for citizens, lower carbon emissions and a dramatic reduction of litter in and along our rivers and oceans. Together with large multinationals, we can do much more now to develop reuse and refill models for plastic products and packaging.

The Netherlands also supports the Presidency’s focus and hard work on the importance of peatlands management and mangrove conservation. 
Finally, along the same lines, we welcome the paragraphs on water management. Water is crucial to a better future. To that end, the Netherlands is co-hosting the UN 2023 Water Conference, together with Tajikistan.
In conclusion, looking at the many challenges confronting the world today, Indonesia’s G20 motto ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger’ couldn’t be more appropriate. Together, we can make it happen.
Thank you.


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