Here's a few of there recent publications:
1. The Future Will Be Bio-Based
From climate change to biodiversity loss, and most starkly with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's clear that society needs to radically change its relationship with nature but it doesn’t have much time left to get things right.
2. Futurescape: a journey through London over the next 100 years
Futurescape is a Chatham House initiative for our second century, generating innovative thinking and exploring how a more sustainable future could come about in the next one hundred years around London’s Piccadilly Circus.
3. Redesigning the Future
In this event, designers, policymakers and thinkers discussed how radical design thinking can provide positive answers and innovative solutions to shape the future we want to live in. This event was part of the Design in an Age of Crisis Initiative, in partnership with London Design Biennale.
4. Financing an inclusive circular economy: De-risking investments for circular business models and the SDGs
Despite recent growth, circular economy finance and spending remains small scale in comparison both with other green finance and with spending in the linear economy, write Patrick Schröder and Jan Raes.
The question of how best to fund the circular economy is receiving increasing attention not only from circular economy proponents, but from policymakers and the finance sector. Circular economy finance is becoming more sophisticated due to the growing demand for sustainable finance from investors and company shareholders.
Despite recent growth, circular economy finance and spending remains small-scale in comparison both with other green finance and with spending in the linear economy. Current investment levels are too low to drive a global circular economy transition at scale.
The current roll out of recovery and economic stimulus packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to accelerate a ‘just transition’ to an inclusive circular economy. So far, economic stimulus packages have predominantly been allocated to support the existing linear economic system, rather than to investing in transformation towards a sustainable economy.
The circular economy can contribute to achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – including SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land), among others. However, the SDGs most directly associated with the circular economy are severely underfunded, with financial support mainly limited to waste management and recycling projects. Furthermore, most instruments aimed at financing the circular economy currently only target high-income countries and companies.
For the circular economy to make more substantial contributions in the SDG context, there must be a significant increase in financing for higher-value circular economy opportunities across value chains and in support of the scaling of circular business models. Support for low- and middle-income countries in the transition from a linear to a circular economic model is crucial, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 recovery.
Policy instruments are key to de-risking and incentivizing financial investments that target circular economic development. Instruments – such as blended finance and investment guarantees – that support public–private collaboration and financing of the circular economy offer a wider range of possibilities to scale circular economy finance and investments. Official overseas development assistance, public funds, impact investments and philanthropic giving can leverage private investments and de-risk early-stage investments.
Strong policy frameworks, such as national action plans and roadmaps for the circular economy; recycling and resource efficiency targets; blended finance; and investment guarantees, form a precondition to attract sustainable funding through foreign direct investment. Public sector support will require continuous monitoring and improvements as part of de-risking investments to ensure sustainable and equitable outcomes.
For circular economy finance to become sustainable and socially inclusive, it will be necessary to adopt and internalize new ideas, such as the concept of a ‘just transition’. While it is not a one-size-fits-all approach, a just transition keeps track of impacts on stakeholders in relation to corporate accountability: who are the winners and losers of these system changes, and how circular economy finance can better support social inclusion and equality of access to the opportunities created by the circular economy.