New Indian Resource Panel contributes to Climate Protection

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Opening of the international Workshop on resource efficiency and secondary raw materials management, New Delhi, India. Photo: GIZ India

The new Indian Resource Panel (InRP) was officially unveiled at a high-profile multi-stakeholder workshop in New Delhi, making India one of the first emerging economies to set up a national advisory body on resource efficiency. The InRP was created with support from the International Climate Initiative as part of the project 'Resource efficiency and secondary raw materials management as a contribution to climate change mitigation'. Director General Dr Helge Wendenburg, representing the German Environment Ministry, stressed that: 'Efficient raw materials management is especially important for rapidly growing emerging economies such as India, as it reconciles industrial development with climate change mitigation and environmental conservation. We intend to use the experience we have gained with our national resource efficiency programme ProgRess in Germany and from our many years of implementing recycling initiatives to help India become a pioneer in resource efficiency.'

India is one of the world's most dynamic economies. The country's resource requirements are increasing dramatically as a result of growing consumer demand from the rapidly growing middle class in particular. This is having a major impact on the climate and the environment, and is also giving rise to social conflict. As such, resource efficiency and the recycling of secondary raw materials are key measures for promoting sustainable development in India. This is where the 'Resource efficiency and secondary raw materials management as a contribution to climate change mitigation' project comes in. Financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the project seeks to mainstream efforts to leverage the potential of resource efficiency and utilise secondary raw materials within political and private-sector institutions and decision-making bodies in India. At the same time, it works to promote general conditions and incentives conducive to the development of a resource-efficient and climate-friendly society. The IKI project is focused primarily on the automotive and construction sectors, which are particularly relevant from a raw materials perspective, and supports corresponding pilot initiatives, the results of which will be fed into a national resource programme.

The official inauguration of the Indian Resource Panel (InRP) at the multi-stakeholder workshop in New Delhi on 17 November represents a milestone in this first Indian-German resource efficiency project. The InRP will issue recommendations to Indian businesses and policy-makers on improving the general conditions for resource efficiency. The workshop on the establishment of the InRP will be delivered on behalf of the German Environment Ministry (BMUB) and the Indian Ministry of Environment (MoEFCC) by the project's implementing partner, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in cooperation with Indian partners such as the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Development Alternatives, European partners of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and the VDI Center for Resource Efficiency. The inauguration ceremony, attended by representatives from the Indian and German environment ministries, was preceded by numerous specialist discussions on the extent of raw material consumption in India, Germany and the EU, along with key challenges and experiences in this area. A baseline study was also presented, which examined resource consumption and material flows for metals and minerals in India, providing the first set of reliable data in this field.

The topic of resource efficiency is also attracting an increasing level of attention at national level in India, for example, through strategies such as 'Zero Effect - Zero Defect', which promote environmentally friendly production processes that have no negative impact on the natural world. Last but not least, the commitment by the G7 states to prioritise resource efficiency under Germany's Presidency underscores the political relevance of the IKI project.