India and the European Union today agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of environment, resource efficiency and, circular economy under the EU’s Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) for India. At the eighth EU-India Environment Forum, hosted here, the necessity of moving to a resource efficient ‘circular economy’ wherein waste is reduced, or becomes useful input in others, or renewable inputs replace non-renewable ones, was discussed. Union Environment Secretary A N Jha, who took part in the forum said India was preparing its own campaign to develop a resource efficiency strategy and experience sharing with European experts would be of immense help in this regard.
Astrid Schomaker, Director for Global Sustainable Development, Environment Directorate-General, European Commission said that market-based incentives and eco- innovation will create new and exciting products, services and job opportunities in India. The Resource Efficiency Initiative (REI) project will be implemented on behalf of the European Union by a consortium led by Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) and Adelphi.
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The project objectives includes assessment of India’s current and future use of resources and to develop a resource efficiency strategy for India in four sectors – mobility, buildings and construction, renewable energy, and plastic and e-waste management. The project also aims to foster business partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer between European and Indian industry, and raise awareness of best practices in resource efficiency among businesses, the general public, and government and non-government organisations, an official statement said.