The circular economy and the water-food nexus

Robert C. Brears


The global economy is based on a take-make-consume and dispose model where natural resources are turned into products and the waste disposed of instead of being reused as a resource. In the Asia-Pacific region climate change along with rapid population and economic growth is resulting in increased demand for water and food, potentially leading to economic and political instability. Europe has developed policy and technological innovations that can facilitate the transition towards a circular economy where waste becomes a resource. By using existing instruments Europe can transfer its circular economy knowledge and technology to the Asia-Pacific region to increase security of supply of scarce resources. This can help ensure global security, influence climate change negotiations and create jobs in Europe.

Key words: water; agriculture; phosphorus; circular economy

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