Tallinn participated in the 3rd Roundtable on the Circular Economy in Cities and Regions which brought together key stakeholders from cities, regions, national governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, philanthropy and international organisations to share knowledge, experience and good practice in supporting the circular economy.
On May 18-19, an online event of the OECD program “Supporting the Circular Economy in Regions and Cities” took place, which supports cities and regions in their transition to a circular economy through multi-level dialogues, helping to identify regional opportunities and challenges and key actors for evaluating circular economy strategies, as well as mutual exchange of experiences.
The meeting was attended by the Mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, who spoke in the panel discussion with experts from Ireland, Italy and Belgium on the green measures of the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility and support for the circular economy at national, regional and local levels. "The climate crisis can and must be foreseen and prevented. The transition from a linear economy to a circular economy should no longer be a question of why but how and when, and the principles of the circular economy should become a natural part of development in all cities around the world. For Tallinn, the circular economy means, above all, sustainable recycling of waste and reorganising of production, but also the involvement of all parties - institutions, researchers, companies and non-governmental organizations - in the transition to a more sustainable circular economy. As an important step, the Tallinn City Government has just submitted Tallinn's comprehensive climate plan to the City Council for final approval, which will be a step forward for the fulfilment of our sustainable goals. Participation in the OECD support program for the circular economy is also one of the strong steps for Tallinn towards a green transition, as it will result in the creation of a roadmap for our circular economy. The program provides useful knowledge and enables Tallinn to share experiences on an international level," the Mayor explained in his presentation.
The first day of this roundtable discussed how the circular economy could accelerate the blue and green economies, how to increase the efficiency of materials use and revitalize the use of natural systems. In addition, participants in the OECD's Urban and Regional Circular Economy Program shared experiences from discussions at the policy level of the circular economy and summarized the challenges and opportunities of COVID-19 recovery programs for the transition to a circular economy and how to promote a circular economy in cities and regions. Examples include an OECD case study in Granada, Spain, on the impact of water-related initiatives on the transition strategy to the circular economy, and the results of a study in Glasgow, UK, on how the circular economy contributes to carbon neutrality goals.
The second day of the meeting focused on how to make green recovery plans comprehensive and measure their progress in cities and regions. As the COVID-19 crisis raised a number of environmental and social challenges, cities have had to review their current production and consumption patterns, including mobility, the use of materials and the food economy. Many countries are adopting green recovery initiatives, but the role of cities in these strategies and the extent to which these packages promote the circular economy remain unclear. Building on OECD case studies on the circular economy at national (Ireland) and local (Canada, Estonia) levels, yesterday's roundtable discussed the role of cities and regions in COVID-19 recovery plans and how to set up a governance system to measure the transition.
As a result of participating in the program, an analysis and recommendations on the possibilities of the transition to the Tallinn circular economy will be completed in cooperation with OECD experts, and a roadmap for the circular economy will be prepared on this basis. This, in turn, is the basis for compiling the development plan of Tallinn's circular economy.
The first version of the OECD report is expected by December this year and will be presented at the fourth OECD Roundtable of Cities and Regions. In the spring of 2022, the City of Tallinn, in cooperation with the OECD, will organize a policy seminar to discuss possible recommendations with stakeholders. The final OECD report, based on the recommendations of which the city will draw up a roadmap for the circular economy, should be completed in September 2022.