Resource efficiency will be vital for economic growth, competitiveness of industries and employment, according to the G7.
In the Leaders’ Declaration that came from the recent G7 Summit in Germany, a whole section was devoted to resource efficiency.
Leaders from the G7, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States, set out the following in the Declaration:
“The protection and efficient use of natural resources is vital for sustainable development. We strive to improve resource efficiency, which we consider crucial for the competitiveness of industries, for economic growth and employment, and for the protection of the environment, climate and planet.
“Building on the “Kobe 3R Action Plan”, and on other existing initiatives, we will continue to take ambitious action to improve resource efficiency as part of broader strategies to promote sustainable materials management and material-cycle societies.
“We are establishing the G7-Alliance on Resource Efficiency as a forum to share knowledge and create information networks on a voluntary basis. As set out in the annex, the Alliance will collaborate with businesses, SMEs, and other relevant stakeholders to advance opportunities offered by resource efficiency, promote best practices, and foster innovation.
“We acknowledge the benefits of collaborating with developing countries on resource-efficiency, including through innovative public private partnerships. “We ask the UNEP International Resource Panel to prepare a synthesis report highlighting the most promising potentials and solutions for resource efficiency. We further invite the OECD to develop policy guidance supplementing the synthesis report.”
In the annex, the G7 leaders added: “We reaffirm the high importance of the protection and efficient use of natural resources throughout their life cycle and the positive impact on all three equally important dimensions of sustainability – economic, environment and social aspects.
“Life-cycle-based decision-making can help focus attention on natural resources and/or sectors with significant potential.
“We will continue to take ambitious action to improve resource-efficiency, building on existing national and regional initiatives, including the Kobe 3R Action Plan (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and reflecting international developments. In doing so, we will be strengthening the competitiveness of industries, safeguarding jobs and boosting environmental protection.
“Prior to the next G7 meeting, we will share progress on our activities.”
The G7 also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emission by 40% to 70% by 2050 compared to 2010. This will involve the transformation of the energy sector by the same date to meet this goal, and also to develop long term national low carbon strategies.