In February 2022 the UK Government published a Levelling Up White Paper, outlining policy interventions which aim to improve opportunity and boost livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic.  At the same time, as the Government seeks to deliver its Net Zero Strategy.  The challenge is therefore how we can level up and grow our economy whilst also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2021, WRAP published Delivering climate ambition through a more circular economy which identifies the potential for a more circular economy to create net increases in employment in the UK, whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demand for raw materials.  The findings of WRAPs research suggest that a more circular economy is uniquely placed to deliver both the levelling up and climate change agenda.

This report delves further into the modelling undertaken to quantify the opportunities.  Alongside Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, opportunities are identified by English regions.

The research demonstrates that the circular economy is not an abstract future concept; it is already a vital part of our existing economy with immediate growth opportunities, and is already well positioned to deliver the levelling up agenda.

The research identifies the potential to reduce emissions associated with UK consumption of products by up to 33 million tonnes CO2eq p.a., boosting UK Gross Value Added by £82 billion and creating 550,000 jobs by 2030. Crucially, these jobs and economic opportunities are distributed across the UK.

This report shows that sectors of the economy which prolong the life of products and materials are already helping to level up, and have the potential to contribute even more in future.

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