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Resource efficiency and climate protection initiative

As of: May 2021

Emerging economies experience strong industrial growth causing increased resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The project supported emerging G20 economies in developing resource efficiency measures and strategies to improve climate protection. To this end, it strengthened the competencies and capacities of key stakeholders in the public and private sector and promoted the exchange of knowledge and experience with and between G20 emerging economies. The target countries were advised on the identification and development of their potential for resource efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. The resulting strategies and programmes contributed to the implementation of the NDCs (nationally determined contributions). In cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the project supported the inclusion of resource efficiency and climate protection in international dialogue processes, especially in the context of G20.

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.
  • Through classroom and online training, study trips, support for studies, information and dialogue events, the promotion of resource efficiency and climate protection at the national level in three G20 countries in the public sector and the private sector was strengthened. Participation in international events also contributed to bringing the potential of resource efficiency for climate protection in emerging countries into focus internationally.
  • Several information and training measures with key players from politics, business and science in Mexico, Argentina and Indonesia with a total of more than 150 participants have created awareness and capacities for the use of resource efficiency potentials for climate protection. The events were supported by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the International Resource Panel (IRP) and the German Center for Resource Efficiency (VDI-ZRE).
  • A four-day study trip for 25 key players from the private and public sectors from eleven emerging countries in November 2018 offered a platform for knowledge exchange and networking. The visit to the European Resource Forum gave the participants a connection to the current international debate.
  • In Argentina, Mexico and Indonesia, a classroom training on resource efficiency developed by VDI ZRE was carried out for small and medium-sized companies, local trainer pools were set up per country and over 100 company representatives from various industries were trained in 2019-2020 (including the textile and food industry). In addition, the training course was carried out as a three-part online training series on resource efficiency for SMEs by the VDI-ZRE in February and March 2020 with over 200 participants and is accessible via the knowledge portal Green Industry Platform.
  • Climate change and resource efficiency are established fields of action. Discussions on the quantifiable contribution of resource efficiency and especially material efficiency measures to climate protection have intensified in recent years. The project helped initiate a discussion process with key actors from science, politics and private sector associations on the topic for selected industrial sectors. A study carried out by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg developed an easy-to-use methodological approach to more effectively quantify the potential of resource efficiency measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from a value chain perspective.
  • In Argentina, dialogues supported by the project between private entrepreneurs and the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economics have contributed to a better common understanding of which policy measures to promote industrial resource protection (and climate protection) are feasible and expedient. A jointly developed online check enables companies to assess their contributions to resource and climate protection. In addition, a manual on resource efficiency for SMEs was developed in close cooperation with business associations and made available to companies free of charge.
  • Argentina has been working with the UN Environment Program since 2020 on a national strategy for sustainable consumption and production. As a contribution to this, the project financed a detailed hotspot analysis for Argentina's economically most important industrial sector, the food sector. The SCP hotspot analysis approach identifies priority environmental pollution hotspots from unsustainable production on the basis of environmental, social and trade data and provides political decision-makers with a solid evidence-based data basis for readjusting national SCP and climate policy.
  • A study on resource efficiency potentials of priority economic sectors in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, carried out with the support of the project, provided an important basis for anchoring resource efficiency in the government program (“Plan Estatal de Desarrollo Guanajuato 2040”). In addition, the study set in motion a regular dialogue between the public and the corporate sector to promote resource efficiency in companies, in which research institutions also participate. This study is complemented by a brief analysis that shows the benefits resource efficiency can offer Mexican SMEs. A handbook on resource efficiency and climate protection developed jointly with the Mexican Ministry of the Environment raises awareness among SMEs and gives them practical advice on how to identify and implement resource efficiency measures.
  • In Indonesia, the Ministry of the Environment is pursuing the goal of integrating resource efficiency more closely into other policy areas and establishing an in-depth dialogue with various economic sectors on resource efficiency. With background studies and an inter-ministerial workshop, the project helped to take stock of the approaches, strategies and regulations for resource efficiency and to formulate policy recommendations for further steps. Furthermore, a qualitative snapshot of the stance of the private sector on the need for knowledge, capacity development and incentives for resource efficiency was investigated as the basis for a public-private dialogue series. A training course for environmental auditors in the textile sector was commissioned and developed through UNIDO's Indonesian resource efficiency program, which conveys resource efficiency standards and measures as key criteria for sustainability assessments.
  • To promote the international exchange of knowledge on resource efficiency and climate protection, experts from science, politics and the private sector discussed in a three-part online webinar series (June to September 2020) (1) aspects of stable supply chains through resource efficiency (2) the future of sustainable, green building and construction and (3) new, innovative materials as an opportunity and challenge for SMEs in emerging and developing countries. The webinar series reached over 800 participants worldwide and can be accessed via the knowledge platform Green Industry Platform.
  • Cities play an increasingly important role in the resource-efficient management of material flows. In cooperation with the IRP and with the support of the project, the UN Environment Programme has published a regional report for Latin America on the material footprint of cities and possible political strategies for intelligent material flow management, which shows new ways for resource-efficient circular economy at the municipal level.

Project data

Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico

Implementing organisation:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) - Mexico
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development - Argentina*
  • State Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS) - Indonesia

Implementing partner(s):
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) - Indonesia

BMU grant:
3.000.000,00 €

09/2017  till  02/2021


Initiative Resource Efficiency and Climate Protection (PDF | 671 KB)

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