Material efficiency approach towards reducing emissions: G20 experiences and lessons for India

Climate change is often perceived solely as an energy related issue and solutions to mitigate the same are centred around the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. However, mitigation of emissions from production and consumption can also be achieved by adopting demand side strategies by addressing the issue of material efficiency. This paper attempts to understand material efficiency policies in some of the leading G20 countries that have been working in this field and draws possible lessons for India. It discusses India’s performance so far in reducing energy consumption and emissions and also details out policies and legislations prevalent in China and Germany. The paper also highlights some of the issues related to scaling up material efficiency, possible G20 engagement and next steps in the field of resource efficiency.