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ERIA Joins Call for Industrial Capacity Building in Scaling up G20 Circular Economy Transition

27 June 2023

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New Delhi, 27 June 2023: Circular economy transition in in manufacturing refers to the shift from linear production systems to closed environmentally and socially responsible practices in the production of goods. This includes reducing waste and emissions, conserving resources, and improving working conditions for employees. G20  government has introduced policies and schemes to support sustainable production and consumption practices. The adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as IoT and AI, is also playing a key role in enabling a more sustainable manufacturing ecosystem across G20 countries.

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and Centre for Global Affairs and Public Policy (GCAPP) held a one-day Parivarthan (Sanskrit for to bring transformation) summit on the United Nations' MSME (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) Day, in New Delhi on 27 June. MSME Day is held every year to raise awareness of their significance in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The summit aimed to drive the just and equitable circular economy transition narrative along with the green growth of Indian MSMEs. It focused on positioning MSME leaders in G20 as a global exemplar and a manufacturing hub with sustainable supply chains, by creating an enabling ecosystem comprising a policy framework, access to affordable green finance, and the availability of innovative technology, with a cross-cutting emphasis on gender equity across all dimensions.

The deliberations featured three themes: the circular economy, decarbonization, and tech innovations. 

Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Director of Research Strategy and Innovations joined the discussions on the circular economy, and presented examples of how the circular economy objective of resource efficiency could be achieved through digitization and the introduction of market-based mechanisms.

More than 100 participants representing senior policymakers, small and medium-sized enterprises and green start-ups joined the summit, and discussed opportunities for building up the ecosystem of the low carbon circular economy transition in G20 countries.

Panellists from policy-making, business and civil society communities agreed on the importance of innovative public private partnerships, and recommended G20 member states work toward developing coherent standards, based on existing frameworks, to maximize the impact of capacity-building efforts. They suggested the countries facilitate the creation of a network to coordinate various capacity-building programs, including via leveraging the resources of multilateral development banks, non-government organizations (NGOs), research bodies and think tanks. They also recommended a greater focus on supporting sustainable finance capacity building, especially for MSMEs.

The recommendations were handed over to the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG). The highlight of the ECSWG under the Indian G20 Presidency was the launch of the Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition on the sidelines of the 4th G20 ECSWG and Environment and Climate Ministers meeting in Chennai, India, on 27 July.

The coalition's objective is to unite nations, industries, and experts in their endeavour to propel the global circularity agenda forward. This G20 initiative is poised to become a momentous achievement, representing a collective stride toward fostering on-the-ground efforts in resource efficiency and advancing the principles of the circular economy.

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