Researchers and environmental NGOs call for ‘Materials Framework Directive’ to limit temperatures to 1.5°C


21 Jun 2024

Zero Waste Europe Eunomia event PR

Brussels, 21 June 2024 – Researchers, civil society groups, and business representatives gathered in Brussels yesterday to call for a ‘Materials Framework Directive’ to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The event “Material world: The EU’s path to a 1.5°C future”, co-organised by Zero Waste Europe and Eunomia Research & Consulting, was held to discuss the findings of the recently published report entitled “Managing materials for 1.5°C”. The panel highlighted the urgent need for Europe to not only accelerate its transition to a circular economy but also look at how we can strategically manage our material consumption.

The event took place the same week as the Council of environmental ministers agreed on the conclusions of the mid-term review of the 8th Environmental Action Programme (EAP). In the text, Member States acknowledged that the EU’s material and consumption footprints are still far beyond what is sustainable. The Council invites the Commission to assess a legal framework that includes science-based targets to keep material and consumption footprints within planetary boundaries. Zero Waste Europe supports this and said the text adds credence to the call for a Materials Framework Directive. 

Aline Maigret, Head of Policy at Zero Waste Europe, stated:

“We are currently transgressing six out of the nine planetary boundaries. We urgently need bold ambitions based on science to keep material and consumption footprints within these boundaries, as reflected in Member States’ conclusions on the 8th Environmental Action Programme earlier this week. That’s where a Materials Framework Directive comes in, to offer what the Waste Framework Directive clearly can’t: a shift in perspective, from waste-focused policymaking to sustainable materials use.”

Dr Chris Sherrington, Head of Environmental Policy & Economics at Eunomia, stated:

“Of the measures we are proposing, it’s the greater use of environmental taxation and the associated shift from unanimity to qualify majority voting that is likely to be the most politically contentious, but also we feel the most important”

Lieze Cloots, Head of the Environment Unit, Cabinet of Minister Zakia Khattabi, Belgian Federal Government, representing the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, stated:

“What is on the table now is already a lot but we need to take further action. One thing we identified is that current instruments do not enable coherence between different policies. There is a lack of long-term vision, and no ability to have systemic change. That’s why the Council urges the Commission to set up a multistakeholder preparatory process to set up a long-term vision. The Council invites the Commission to assess the modalities for a governance framework, an EU long-term objective, the potential for science-based targets, and finally, the establishment of a legal framework. That’s the message from the Council to the Commission in the next period of time, with a view beyond 2030.”

The event concluded with proposals to transition Europe from a linear, material-intensive economy to a circular one, ultimately achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and long-term economic and environmental sustainability.




Notes to the editor

Link to “Managing materials for 1.5°C.”: 


Press contacts 

Sean Flynn, Media Outreach & Communications Officer at Zero Waste Europe, [email protected] or [email protected] / +32 471 96 55 93

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About Zero Waste Europe 

Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) is the European network of communities, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards a better use of resources and the elimination of waste in our society. We advocate for sustainable systems; for the redesign of our relationship with resources; and for a global shift towards environmental justice, accelerating a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet. 

About Eunomia Research and Consulting Ltd

At Eunomia, we are driven by the power of unwasted.  

We’re social-environmental problem-solvers and researchers with a difference. Combining real world consulting experience and deep knowledge with an active role in policy, empowers us to provide pragmatic, science-led solutions that reduce human impact on the planet.  

As the leading experts in our field for nearly 25 years, our role is to challenge the status quo. Our incomparable expertise means we ask the right questions and dare to go where others won’t. We get to the heart of the real issues impacting our clients’ businesses and impacting society.   

Eunomia specialises in sustainable material use and reuse, recycling, and waste management strategies, assisting businesses, governments and NGOs from policy evaluation to product responsibility.