Leading economic powers want to use natural resources more sustainably
Today, at the invitation of Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, high-level representatives of the G20 countries have come to Berlin for the first meeting of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue. The new governmental process was agreed at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. The group of the world's 20 largest economies wants to promote more efficient and sound consumption of natural resources such as raw materials, water and land. Minister Hendricks and Matthias Machnig, State Secretary at the Federal Economic Affairs Ministry, will open the meeting together.
Federal Environment Minister Hendricks: "Those who want to achieve the climate targets set in Paris must invest in resource efficiency. By using raw materials more efficiently we will save energy and transport, and also protect important ecosystems. We need products, production processes and lifestyles that are more resource-efficient. With this new governmental dialogue the G20 is showing that it can also take on global environmental issues."
State Secretary Machnig: "Resource efficiency plays a crucial role in strengthening and modernising industrial locations for the long term. Digitisation and lightweight design are important drivers of resource efficiency, something which strong emerging economies in particular could profit from. The G20 governmental dialogue is an important step forward in initiating the networking and exchange required for achieving this."
At its summit in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July 2017, the G20 decided to establish a continuous dialogue on resource efficiency. The inaugural meeting of the new governmental dialogue is taking place today and tomorrow and is one of the last events being held under the German G20 Presidency. Alongside government delegations from the G20 countries, the meeting will also be attended by representatives of international organisations, industry, the scientific community and civil society.
At the meeting, representatives of large companies and research institutes will outline how they significantly reduce the consumption of their own raw materials in certain production processes and in the design of their range of products by applying the principles of circular economy.
Calculations by the International Resource Panel show that if no countermeasures are taken the current annual consumption of raw materials, which stands at 85 billion tonnes, could increase to 186 billion tonnes by 2050. The Panel also reported that more resource efficiency and climate action would reduce raw material consumption by 28% and greenhouse gas emissions by over 60%, while at the same time global economic performance would go up by 1%.
Germany will hand over the G20 Presidency to Argentina on 1 December 2017. The G20 Presidency will be held by Japan in 2019 and Saudi Arabia in 2020.