As part of the Montréal Environment and Resource Economics Workshop, a special day was organized on the theme of "Circular Economy, Resources and Geopolitics".
Mineral resources are essential to the energy transition (and other transitions, like the digital or even the circular transitions). We recognize the role of recycling (and eventually other circular strategies) to optimize resource use. One question is: what is the role of circular economy in the transitions and the management of critical raw materials (CRM)? Several states (EU, USA, China, Quebec, etc.) have strategic plans for the management of critical resources. They all explicitly mention “circular economy” or at least “recycling”. The initial allocation of resources is key in the growth potential of nations. Nonetheless, a country with little endowments in CRM may specialize in the management and recycling of strategic (end-of-life) products or materials and reduce its dependency to CRM or secure CRM availability. Another question is: what is the impact of circular economy in the geopolitics of resources?
The workshop was led by a team of researchers composed of Hassan Benchekroun (McGill University), Sophie Bernard (Polytechnique Montréal), Robert Cairns (McGill University), Justin Leroux (HEC Montréal), Ngo Van Long (McGill University), Martino Pelli (Université de Sherbrooke) and Charles Séguin (UQAM).
This event was part of CIRANO's major theme "Sustainable Development and Agri-Food" and was led by several CIRANO Researchers (Sophie Bernard, Justin Leroux, Ngo Van Long, Martino Pell, Charles Séguin).