Resource Efficiency in the G20

G20 summit decision establishes G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue

The G20 countries decided to establish a G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue at the summit in Hamburg on 7-8 July 2017. The dialogue will make the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources a core element of the G20 talks. The German government placed this item on the G20 agenda for the first time in 2017.

By establishing the new G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue, the G20 countries want to advocate a resource-efficient and sustainable global economy and promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. The aim is to use natural resources such as raw materials, water and energy more efficiently and soundly along their entire life-cycle in order to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), combat poverty, take climate action and protect the environment. The G20 countries will work together with experts, enterprises and the public for this purpose.

The objectives and first subjects of the dialogue are fleshed out in an annex to the Hamburg G20 Leaders’ Declaration of 7-8 July 2017. For the time being, the G20 wants to focus on three topics:

  • First, they will cooperate more closely on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda SDGs related to the use of natural resources. The International Resource Panel has indicated that 12 of the 17 SDGs depend on a more sustainable use of natural resources.
  • Second, the G20 wants to improve the scientific basis of resource efficiency policy. To this end, different scenarios will be modelled showing how resource use could change under various conditions.
  • Third, the G20 aims to enhance knowledge exchange of policy options and good practice examples that have been successful in improving resource efficiency, e.g. on the use of raw materials or water, on waste management or on the development of production processes and infrastructure.

Experts and representatives of international organisations, business and civil society may also be invited to the meetings of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue to contribute with their knowledge and expertise. The kick-off event for the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue is scheduled to take place in Berlin on 27 November 2017.

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks invited the G20 countries to Berlin on 16 and 17 March 2017 for a workshop on resource efficiency, which laid the political foundations for the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue. At the workshop, the International Resource Panel presented a current report demonstrating the great significance of resource efficiency for climate action and sustainable development.

The G7 process provides experience that the G20’s work on resource efficiency can build on. The G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency was launched at the G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau in 2015.