A high-level European Union delegation will be here next week to explore collaboration with India in green businesses and promote circular economy which aims to limit wastage of natural resources.
European Commissioner for Environment and Maritime Affairs Karmenu Vella will lead the delegation which will visit India from September 4-7, the European Union said in a statement.
“He will lead a Circular Economy Mission (CEM) to India which aims to facilitate policy and knowledge exchange as well as business partnerships between the European Union (EU) and India for the development of circular economy models,” it said.
The circular economy transition provides a tremendous opportunity for value generation for India, with the potential to unlock around 430 billion EUR of value by 2030, according to an assessment by the EU.
A circular economy is a regenerative system which limits wastage of natural resources without compromising on economic growth. The model works with the principle of remanufacturing, refurbishing and recycling and focuses on minimising resource input as well as waste, emission, and energy leakages.
During the visit of the delegation, both sides will also explore expansion of cooperation in a range of areas such as climate change, water resources, housing and urban development , officials said.
The EU said said more than 70 European delegates representing diverse organisations and sectors from 15 EU member states will be part of the delegation which will aim to promote green business partnerships by encouraging matchmaking with local entrepreneurs.
“The transition to a circular economy is a tremendous opportunity to transform our economy: making it more sustainable and protecting the environment while creating jobs and generating competitive advantages for Europe in a world that is undergoing profound changes,” it said.
India and the EU have been focusing on expanding their cooperation in several critical areas including climate change, clean energy, water resources and science and technology.
Commissioner Vella will hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts of key ministries involved in circular economy and resource efficiency in India.
He will also join roundtable discussions to be organised by Niti Aayog with participation from key ministries to discuss the implementation of India’s ‘resource efficiency strategy’.
This strategy has been developed with the support of the EU Delegation in India.
During the four-day trip, the delegates will also participate in stakeholder meetings, plenaries and technical sessions on best practices, innovation and policy landscape on resource efficiency and circular economy, the EU said.
The delegation will comprise representatives from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and UK.
“With the Indian economy forecast to grow at close to 7.5 per cent in the coming years, India’s material requirements are projected to reach nearly 15 billion tonnes by 2030.
“The current linear economy model of ‘take, make, dispose’ will exacerbate the twin problems of increasing resource constraints and increased generation of waste as the economy grows,” the EU said.
This underscores the urgent need to develop circular economy models for the country that can “decouple” economic growth from resource dependency, while simultaneously eliminating waste, it said.