The Environment Ministerial Meeting of the G7 at Bologna was attended by the Environment Ministers of the seven countries and the Commissioners of the European Union for Environment and Climate. Furthermore, the meeting was attended by the Environment Ministers of four outreach countries particularly committed to environmental policies, in representation of emerging countries: Chile, Maldives, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

The ministers issued a 63-point communique at the end of the two-day meeting.

To read the –  G7 Bologna Environment Ministers’ Meeting Communiqueclick here

Resource Efficiency/ Circular economy related extracts from the Communique:

We, the G7 Environment Ministers and high representatives, and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate, met in Bologna on 11-12 June 2017. We were joined by heads and senior officials of International Organizations and by representatives of universities and firms.

1. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

2. Climate Change

3. Sustainable Finance

3a. Promoting Financial Centres for Sustainability

3b. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

4. Resource Efficiency, 3Rs, Circular Economy and Sustainable Material Management

32. There is strong evidence that Resource Efficiency, 3Rs, Circular Economy and Sustainable Material Management can be a major driver to attain  economic growth and employment, and can bring about environmental and social benefits together with long-term economic competitiveness and prosperity. This is fully recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets will only be attained if we improve resource efficiency globally.

33. National and regional policy decisions play an important role in resource efficiency. We also recognize that collective actions internationally are key if we are to ensure widespread benefits amongst countries on a global scale. As a result, we encourage international cooperation and the promotion of integrated approaches and policies as an important condition to achieve tangible results. These actions should take into account all dimensions of sustainable development as well as  cooperation with business and stakeholders.

34. We support the main findings of the IRP and OECD reports that resource efficiency can improve the overall economic and environmental resilience of our countries. We consider that substantial increase in resource efficiency is essential to meet the SDGs and associated targets and climate goals in a cost-effective manner and we will consider the relevant policy recommendations of both reports.

35. In this context, building on the outcome of the 2015 Elmau Summit, the 2016 Ise-Shima Summit, the Toyama Framework on Material Cycles, we adopt the enclosed “5-year Bologna Roadmap” which aims to advance common activities on resource efficiency. We will endeavour to participate fully in the 10-Year Framework Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns.

36. In reaffirming our commitment to the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency, as a useful forum to exchange and promote best practices together with business and other stakeholders, we warmly welcome and fully support the initiative of the German G20 Presidency to establish a G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue. 37. At the next meeting of the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency, which will be held in November 2017 in Italy, under the lead of the G7 Italian Presidency, we will define a planning document with a tentative list of workshops and other activities to follow up on the above-mentioned actions.

5. Marine Litter

6. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and support for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement

7. Environmental Fiscal Reform and Sustainable Development

8. Environment Policies and Employment

9. Africa

10. Universities for Sustainable Development

11. Firms for Sustainable Development

Annex to the Communiqué: “5-year Bologna Roadmap”

We, the G7 Environment Ministers and high representatives, and European Commissioners responsible for environment and climate, taking into account the Toyama Framework on Material Cycles and the key messages and recommendations produced by the IRP and the OECD reports, have decided on next steps to advance resource efficiency and adopt the following roadmap as a “living” document to prioritize actions that advance life cycle based materials management, resource efficiency, and the 3Rs, including in the supply chain.

To this aim, acknowledging that 12 out of the 17 SDGs refer to resource efficiency and that by 2030 countries are called on “to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources”, recognizing the value of knowledge-sharing and building on the ongoing work, we decide to carry out the following concrete actions, by taking the lead or contribute on a voluntary basis as appropriate, recognizing that each member might not contribute to all areas.

In doing so, we recognize the importance of stakeholder involvement. We acknowledge the significant role of business in achieving resource efficiency and welcome the active contribution from the Business 7. We want to engage closely with business, International Organizations and other stakeholders active in this field to promote resource efficiency in the following focus sectors and areas.

We will review progress periodically on the implementation of the actions under the roadmap and the Toyama Framework through workshops and other fora in conjunction with the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency meetings.

Resource Efficiency indicators

– Continue work to develop our joint capability to measure and monitor resource efficiency outcomes and impacts. Building on the expertise of the OECD, the IRP, the G7 statistical institutes and other relevant bodies, we will work collaboratively to review and share existing practices, identify gaps in measurements as well as develop possible new global, regional and national indicators, and advance existing ones, where needed.

Resource Efficiency and Climate Change

– Further assess the potential GHG reductions of resource efficiency policies with the aim of pursuing co-benefits by identifying the most promising resource efficient measures in regard to their GHG abatement potential. To this end, we invite the IRP to conduct a study on the above, including providing emission scenarios connected to the implementation of RE/CE/3R/SMM policies and comparing these with the implementation of conventional policies. An assessment of the deployment of low carbon technologies relevant for the implementation of RE/CE/3R/SMM should also be provided. Italy will provide financial support to develop the study.

Sustainable material management at international level

Share information on:

– Initiatives, best practices and approaches on environmentally sound international material management including the national and regional aspects related to it (e.g. standards and regulations, recycling facilities and business operators, and applicable technologies);

– Barriers to repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, reuse and recycling from a business perspective, regarding international material management.

Economic analysis of resource efficiency

-Work with relevant organizations to develop a robust and credible analysis of the macroeconomic impacts, including a gender sensitive perspective, of the shift to a resource efficient global economy and the microeconomic drivers that will enable this transition. This work will seek to build on the existing activities of the IRP and the OECD and identify knowledge gaps, barriers and key priorities for future action to guide our activities. Co-benefits and possible trade-offs with other relevant areas of policy (e.g. employment) will be considered.

Citizen involvement and raising public awareness

– Citizen awareness and engagement is central to achieving lifestyles consistent with resource efficiency goals. We will engage with civil society and business to identify the necessary solutions and innovations to achieve sustainability through actions towards a circular economy. We recognize youth as agents of positive change and promote increasing their awareness of resource efficiency to foster innovative ideas and drive actions in support of global efforts (e.g. G7, G20, OECD, and IRP).

Private sector actions

Through active engagement of the private sector, develop case studies on industry best practice on resource efficiency, providing concrete information on the cost savings achieved, jobs created, and reduction in pollution.

Food waste

– Through webinars, workshops, or other platforms, share experiences on (1) developing policies or plans for reducing food loss and waste and (2) measuring food loss and waste and associated negative environmental and economic impacts, in line with target 12.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Plastics

– Assess the economic benefits and opportunities for improved product design and address barriers to recycling and reuse of plastic, in view of reducing the use of primary resources, the negative environmental and economic impacts over its lifecycle and avoid plastics leakage into the environment, in particular the seas and oceans (in coordination with relevant G7 work).

Green Public Procurement – GPP

– Share experiences on integrating resource efficiency criteria into the procurement process and exchange views on how to build capacity to apply GPP to products with significant environmental impacts, especially by sharing information on aspects such as reusability, reparability, the use of recycled materials.

Lifetime extension product policies

– Assess the impact of Remanufacture, Refurbishment, Repair and Direct Reuse (RRRDR) practices compared to recycling, create clarity on the RRRDR definitions used, identify and address barriers, including reverse logistic chains, and consider what role the G7 could play. Share practices on activities identifying relevant ecodesign criteria for longer life time of products and on their implementation.

Resource Efficiency and Next Production Revolution – NPR

– Explore engagement in the collaboration launched at the G7 Summit in Taormina by exploring how NPR enabling quality infrastructure can contribute to achieving greater resource efficiency.

Source: G7 Italy


 

Statement on the Communique by Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission

I would like to echo the other colleagues and thank Minister Galletti for his excellent hospitality and skillful chairing, as well as the citizens of Bologna for their warm welcome.

We in the EU think that a more resource-efficient, low-carbon and circular economy is the way forward not only for Europe but also for the whole world. I am very glad that this view is confirmed at G7 level.

We adopted the five year Bologna Roadmap on resource efficiency in continuity with what was agreed in Toyama last year. There was agreement among G7 members on a certain set of very important issues relating to the environment and sustainable development: the importance of implementing the 2030 SDG Agenda, the need of scaling up sustainable finance in particular for our SMEs encouraging public private partnership, the need to actively promote and develop an ambitious agenda on resource efficiency and the circular economy as an opportunity it’s for innovation growth and jobs. Using our resources better will also help address marine litter. An issue on which the G7 is advancing.

On the issue of climate change, the EU deeply regrets President Trump’s announcement to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

We therefore also regret that the US has not been able to join the rest of us in the climate change part of the communique.

Let me be very clear on the point of the irreversibility of the Paris Agreement: the European Union will not renegotiate the Paris Agreement. Now it is time for action, the world’s priority is implementation.

The EU is a climate leader and we will continue to lead through ambitious climate policies (we have the world’s most ambitious climate target) and through continued support to the poorest and most vulnerable countries (we are the world’s largest climate finance provider). And we are also leading in terms of emissions reductions. Overall, the EU has reduced emissions by 24% since 1990 while our economy has grown by 50 per cent.

The clear message from this G7 Environment Ministerial is that, with the exception of the US, we are all determined to move forwards and implement the Paris Agreement swiftly and effectively.
I would like to inform you that the EU will host the fourth high-level Our Ocean Conference in Malta on 5 and 6 October 2017.

Allow me to conclude by confirming to Minister Galletti our support to implement the decisions made here today  and express my best wishes to Minister McKenna for Canada’s Presidency in 2018.

Let me repeat President Juncker’s words that in Europe the Planet comes first.

Source: EU