In the welcome address, Mr Rameshwar Prasad Gupta highlighted the work undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in the sphere of climate action, biodiversity, and circular economy. Recounting Mahatma Gandhi’s words, he stated that the world has enough resources for people’s needs but it is too small to satiate the growing greed of the people. Emphasizing the idea of a sustainable lifestyle, as promulgated by the Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he opined that circular economy (CE) is the only way through which the natural ecosystem could be preserved.
The various interlinkages between climate action, biodiversity protection, and CE were discussed during this thought-provoking session. The gravity of the problem lies in the incessant exploitation of natural resources by humankind, thereby leading to increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along with a reduced repository of resources.
While the world is already grappling with the disastrous impacts of climate change, the recent pandemic has aggravated the situation in terms of increased health hazards, which now demand more investment in the form of recovery packages. The pertinence of CE lies in the fact that it allows resources to be reused and recycled, thereby expanding their usage across the supply chain. The six principles of CE pertain to redesign, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, and refurbish, which enable the judicious usage of resources, thereby enhancing material efficiency. These principles of CE can be applied to reduce the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The discussions highlighted the key opportunities that exist across various sectors, namely, steel, aluminium, transport, construction, and agriculture to list a few. The application of CE will enable reusing waste generated across various sectors and lead to development of innovative products. In this context, Ms Inger Andersen stated that while the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a rise in medical waste, innovations are already being introduced in India to recycle the waste and create sustainable products.

Plenary Session 6: Examining Interlinkages to Climate Action, Biodiversity Protection and Circular Economy
Chair: Mr Rameshwar Prasad Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India
Welcome Remarks: Mr Christophe Manet, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to India
Keynote Address: Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
Panellists:
– Mr Basile van Havre, Co-Chair, Convention on Biological Diversity
– Mr P V S Surya Kumar, Deputy Managing Director, NABARD
– Ms Astrid Schomaker, Director, Global Sustainable Development, European Commission
– Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
To know more about WSDS 2021, visit: https://wsds.teriin.org/
#WSDS2021 #Act4Earth #SustainableDevelopment

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