India calls for responsible use of resources

Addressing the 4th BRICS ministerial meeting in South Africa, India’s Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan said that a steady drop in resources has called for awareness about responsible consumption in the Asia-Pacific region

May 18, 2018

India, one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer base, has focussed on the importance of sustainable consumption practices; The call comes amid rising concerns regarding global resources depletion and scarcity

At the summit, India emphasised that responsible consumption and waste recycling are key elements of Sustainable Development, especially in the growing economies of BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

Mr Pradhan said that the BRICS countries should collaborate through technology and knowledge transfer as well as requisite capacity building to effectively control common environmental challenges facing growing economies

India has taken steps to popularise sustainable consumption among its fast-growing consumer base, covering the fields of afforestation, renewable energy, food security, water conservation, plastic refusal, among others

India, one of the world’s fastest-growing consumer base, has focussed on the importance of sustainable consumption practices. The call comes amid rising concerns regarding global resources depletion and scarcity. Addressing the 4th BRICS ministerial meeting in Durban, South Africa on May 18, India’s Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan said that a decrease in global materials, or at least stabilisation at present levels, demanded major reductions in metabolic rates in the Asia-Pacific region, especially India. He pointed out that this can become possible only through Resource Efficiency (RE) not only throughout the material life cycle, but also at the post-consumption stage. India has already taken initiatives to popularise sustainable consumption among masses, covering the fields of afforestation, renewable energy, food security, water conservation, plastic refusal, among others.

Mr Vardhan added that secondary resources (waste materials) need to be brought back into production, adopting a Circular Economy (CE) approach. India’s waste collection and management industry is expected to reach a valuation of US$14 billion by 2025, driven by an annual growth of around 7 per cent.  Owing to this growth prospect, India has seen strong public and private interests in the renewable and recycle space. Meanwhile, the nation, which produces up to 65 million tonnes of solid waste annually, has committed to build responsive, inclusive and collective solutions to streamline consumption and recycle patterns. Herein, the minister emphasised that RE and CE are key elements of Sustainable Development and they greatly impact resource efficiency. That is why there is a global commitment to achieve it, especially in the growing economies of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Over the past decade, the BRICS nations have seen massive economic growth along with rising environmental challenges such as air pollution, waste management, resource crunch and climate change. Mr Pradhan said that the BRICS countries should join forces in air pollution control through technology and knowledge transfer as well as requisite capacity building. The Minister added that India will be pleased to contribute and provide further recommendations to the BRICS Environment Working Group on the modalities of Partnership for Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (PUESI). Mr Vardhan expressed confidence that the proposals on BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) platform related to clean river umbrella, circular economy, ocean economy, biodiversity and integrated water resources management will further strengthen multilateral cooperation for sustainable development.

At the summit, India urged BRICS partners to commit to cooperation and collaboration at the country, regional and global levels. Outlining the contours of the Green Good Deeds movement in India, Mr Vardhan said, “We are asking people to alter their behaviour to Green Good behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility”.  He urged the BRICS countries to jointly help in the development of a social movement that can be emulated by the rest of the world. India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, is uniquely placed to contribute to the global awareness movement.

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