Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan

The European Union and India sign a Joint Declaration on Resource Efficiency

Bruxelles, 05/06/2018 - 12:20, UNIQUE ID: 180605_5
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Its objective will be to foster the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources in India, thereby contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal on sustainable production and consumption.

New Delhi, 5 June 2018: The European Union and the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), Government of India today signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on June 2, 2018. Its objective will be to foster the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources in India, thereby contributing to the UN's Sustainable Development Goal on sustainable production and consumption. The JDI is supported by implementing partners GIZ from Germany, TERI, CII and consultants Adelphi.

Resource Efficiency

The Joint Declaration (see box below) will promote cooperation initiatives based, broadly, on the recommendations of the Strategy on Resource Efficiency released in December 2017.  It aims at mainstreaming a life-cycle approach to product development and disposal; targeting reduced abiotic resource use, especially of high priority materials in selected sectors with a short to medium term action plan (December 2017 – July 2020). The RE strategy recommendations were to develop a baseline data collection framework for the federal as well state level, develop an indicator monitoring framework, increase the capacities and awareness of the relevant stakeholders; promote recycling standards, voluntary labelling and standards for SRM utilization; develop green mining practices, support technological facilities for material-rich wastes like e-waste, C&D and End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), promote sustainable public procurement (SPP), economic instruments and development of sustainable industrial areas etc. is proposed.

Circular Economy in the European Union

The Commission adopted a Circular Economy package in December 2015, consisting on legislative proposals on waste and an action plan covering the whole life of products and materials. It is a key contribution to the broader agenda of the European Union for jobs and growth. It is also closely linked with the energy and climate policies and it contributes to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 on sustainable development adopted by the United Nations in September 2015.

The Resource Efficiency Challenge in India

Rising income levels, growing population and rapid urbanisation have led to increasing material consumption levels. India’s raw material usage is expected to climb from 1.7 bn. tons in 1980 to 15 bn. tons by 2030. Between 1970 and 2010, the extraction of primary raw materials to drive economic activity increased by 420%. It is anticipated that India will have the world’s third largest consumer market by 2025, with 30% of consumer spending expected to be in the emerging cities.  In transport, housing and energy which are likely to be major areas of expenditure and material consumption, waste management is becoming a significant issue.

EU-India cooperation in Resource Efficiency was launched in July 2017. The Strategy comes out of the recommendations of the Indian Resource Panel for an Indian Resource Efficiency Programme released by MoEFCC in April 2017. The InRP was launched on November 18, 2015 making India to be first country to have such a panel with an objective to contribute towards agenda setting for overall legislative framework and provide policy recommendations to GoI. It supported the organisation of a high level visit by Indian officials to Europe in October, followed by the release of a Resource Efficiency Strategy for India on the 30th of November.

The JDI will promote cooperation the following initiatives:


  • Sectoral assessment studies in areas identified by the EU-REI project together with dissemination and awareness creation on the recommendations of study findings;
  • Support to the Eco-labelling scheme of MoEFCC/CPCB for enhancing the promotion of products made from secondary resources and promotion of RE.
  • Support in recommending recycling standards for selected sectors (e-waste, plastics waste, C&D wastes)
  • Promotion of R&D and technology development on RE specifically for Green Mining, recycling facilities & common facilities for complex metal rich wastes like End-of-life-Vehicles (ELVs), e-waste/plastic wastes.
  • Development of Sectoral Sustainable Public Procurement Guidelines (SPP) and implementation plan.
  • Support in the development of the Waste Exchange Platform with CII, as a marketplace for utilization of by-products and industrial wastes.
  • Drafting of a policy paper on the use of Secondary Raw Materials and support in targeted awareness on waste Rules notified by the MoEFCC in 2016.
  • Capacity building of state governments, Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and relevant stakeholders and to jointly organise national and international workshops/ conferences on RE
  • Provision of input to the recently formed G-20 RE dialogue group and other multilateral initiatives and programmes with a direct link to RE (e.g. SDG, IRP)


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