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Conference urges immediate action for circular economy

Maribor, 16 May - Immediate action is needed to save the planet, European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said at the opening of Circular Change, an international conference dedicated to circular economy, in Maribor on Thursday. "We know what needs to be done. Now it's time we do it."

Maribor
Former European commissioner Janez Potočnik addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Former European commissioner Janez Potočnik addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Former European commissioner Janez Potočnik addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Former European commissioner Janez Potočnik addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
European Commissioner Violeta Bulc addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
European Commissioner Violeta Bulc addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
European Commissioner Violeta Bulc addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Italian Ambassador to Slovenia Paolo Trichilo addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Italian Ambassador to Slovenia Paolo Trichilo addresses the Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Participants arrive for Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Maribor
Participants arrive for Circular Change conference.
Photo: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Opening the conference that brought together more than 400 participants from 20 countries, Bulc presented her view on the development of eco-civilisation.

"It is developing from a global awareness that we're all part of a single, planetary tribe that shares the same home," said the commissioner from Slovenia.

While the non-governmental sector and the young became aware of the problem a long time ago, it is now up to Slovenian politics to make a circular economy and sustainable development the basis of its mentality and all of its activity, said Bulc.

She noted that the European Commission had drafted Roadmap 2050 last year, which sees circular economy and sustainable development as the foundation of the EU's economic development.

The conference also featured Slovenia's former European Commissioner Janez Potočnik, who was in charge of science and research (2004-2010) before becoming the commissioner for the environment (2010-2014).

He noted that the use of natural resources had more than tripled since 1970, while the efficacy of their use had been decreasing over the recent years.

He believes that issues such as social inequality, climate change, pollution and extinction of species can be addressed with policies such as more effective use of resources. He believes that all countries should draft action plans with concrete steps and deadlines.

"We often fail to go beyond declarations... Today, you'd find it hard to find a person who does not support changes leading to circular economy. But people who actually live by this are few and far between."

Also in attendance was Italian Ambassador to Slovenian Paolo Trichilo, who presented some examples of best practices in his country, and Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič.

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© STA, 2019