• EVENT: Expert Discussion on integrating the resource efficiency-climate nexus into policy in emerging economies

  • DATE: Tuesday 23rd March 2021

  • TIME: 12:30pm-14:00pm Central European Time

  • PARTICIPATION: By invitation only 

On March 23rd, four experts will share their insights and discuss challenges and opportunities, as well as the role of international cooperation, for fostering the implementation of material efficiency policies for climate change mitigation in emerging economies.

The event is aimed at representatives from politics, the private sector and think tanks, as well as from development cooperation, who work in the field of resource efficiency, circular economy and climate action.


Welcome by BMU and Introduction by GIZ

  • Regina Dube, Director General, Water Management, Resource Conservation, Adaptation to Climate Change, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)

  • Vera Scholz, Director, Division Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 

Expert inputs 

  • Stefan Pauliuk, Associate Professor, University of Freiburg and Lead Author of IRP’s report on “Resource Efficiency and Climate Change. Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future”

  • Astrid Schomaker, Director, Global Sustainable Development, DG Environment, EU Commission

  • Rodrigo Rodríguez Tornquist, State Secretary Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Innovation, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Argentina

  • Souvik Bhattachariya, Associate Director, Integrated Policy Analysis Division, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India

Panel discussion

Questions from the audience

Wrap-up and Closing Remarks

  • Detlef Schreiber, Head of Group, Environmental Policy, Biodiversity, Forest, Division Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit 

Moderator: Merlyn Van Voore, Head of Secretariat, International Resource Panel (IRP), UN Environment Programme


Material consumption is an important driver of global climate change. Large quantities of greenhouse gas are released both in the extraction and processing of raw materials and in the many stages of industrial processing. Low recovery strategies at the end of the life cycle and a lack of circular economy models are further reasons for unsustainable resource consumption and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Conversely, an efficient resource consumption represents a considerable, previously under-considered potential for greenhouse gas reduction.

In emerging economies that are experiencing strong industrial growth, resource consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions increase strongly, and resource efficiency strategies offer significant potential for natural resource conservation and greenhouse gas mitigation, whilst promising substantial economic gains at the same time.

Impact-oriented analysis of resource efficiency potentials for climate change mitigation have begun only in recent years, and the implementation of effective policies to seize the potential of material efficiency strategies for climate protection is incipient in many countries, especially emerging economies. Subsequently, material efficiency is scarcely integrated into NDCs. As the IRP states, “NDCs currently show limited commitments to material efficiency. Resource efficiency, resources management, material efficiency, circular economy or consumption side instruments are scarcely mentioned therein, appearing as explicit mitigation measures only in the INDCs of Japan, India, China, and Turkey”