Transitioning Towards Sustainable Resource Management: India's G-20 Presidency Initiatives

Transitioning Towards Sustainable Resource Management: India's G-20 Presidency Initiatives
Posted on 27-07-2023

Transitioning Towards Sustainable Resource Management: India's G-20 Presidency Initiatives

In today's world, there is a growing recognition of the imperative to move away from the traditional 'take-make-dispose' model of production and consumption and embrace the principles of the 'reduce-reuse-recycle' circular economy. India, under its G20 presidency, has placed special emphasis on 'Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy' as one of its core themes for discussion in the G-20 forum.

The circular economy presents a model of production and consumption that revolves around reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. By adopting this approach, we can significantly reduce our reliance on natural resources, minimize waste, and encourage sustainable design practices. Decoupling resource utilization from economic growth is seen as a pivotal factor in achieving sustainable development and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In recent times, the world has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the use of natural resources and materials, with global raw material consumption outpacing population growth. To address this challenge, a study by the OECD has highlighted that transitioning to a circular economy can not only enhance material security but also yield positive environmental and economic outcomes.

India's G-20 presidency has outlined specific priority areas to foster the circular economy:

  1. Circularity in the Steel Sector: With steel being a crucial component in infrastructure development, India aims to raise the current recycling rates of 15%-25% to ensure responsible resource consumption. Collaboration among G-20 member countries for knowledge sharing, technology co-development, and technology transfer is key to achieving a net-zero pathway for the steel industry and reducing its resource utilization and wastage.

  2. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): India recognizes the significance of the EPR framework in integrating circularity throughout the value chain. By shifting responsibility upstream towards producers and providing incentives for eco-conscious product design, EPR promotes the growth of recycling infrastructure and streamlines waste collection systems. India boasts one of the largest EPR frameworks, with comprehensive rules for e-waste and battery waste management.

  3. Adopting a Circular Bioeconomy and Biofuels Approach: To combat the escalating consumption of biological resources, including biowaste, India seeks to establish a circular bioeconomy approach. This approach involves utilizing biowaste as primary raw materials and sustainable alternatives to mineral resources. It not only reduces the demand for virgin resources but also provides an effective waste disposal solution.

  4. Establishing Industry Level Coalition: Recognizing the vital role of industries in promoting resource efficiency and circular economy practices, India envisions an industry coalition to foster technological collaboration, enhance capabilities across sectors, mobilize de-risked finance, and encourage proactive private sector engagement.

India has already taken significant initiatives in the field of bioeconomy and biofuels, such as supporting integrated bio-ethanol projects and promoting the use of Compressed BioGas (CBG) in transportation through schemes like Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana and Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Scheme.

As a member of the G-20, India believes that global platforms like this are crucial in addressing environmental challenges. Many G-20 countries have committed to net-zero ambitions and are actively working to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Leveraging the collective financial and technological strength of the G-20 economies can accelerate the transition towards resource efficiency and circular economy practices.

In conclusion, resource efficiency and the circular economy offer promising pathways to address the challenges of climate change, air pollution, and biodiversity loss. India's G-20 presidency has placed significant emphasis on these approaches, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.