Press Releases & Declarations

G20 YEA Johannesburg Declaration on Resource Efficiency

March 10th, 2017
G20 YEA Johannesburg Declaration on Resource Efficiency

The G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance (G20 YEA) is a collective of organizations across the jurisdictions of the G20 that promotes youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change. Alliance members represent more than 500,000 young entrepreneurs.  Each year the G20 YEA brings together hundreds of the world’s top young entrepreneurs to share their ideas with the B20 and G20 leaders to catalyze global change.

Context
Resource Efficiency is a crucial element of a growing and sustainable economy as well as a means of boosting competitiveness and generating employment opportunities in sectors such as green energy[1] and the circular economy[2].  At the 2016 G20 YEA Beijing Summit, the G20 YEA focused on opportunities for disruption and innovation, identifying several issues that affect business today the opportunities to help them overcome these obstacles, particularly in the area of Resource Efficiency. With declining oil prices and worldwide resource depletion, we recognize as an Alliance and network of entrepreneurs that we need to find ways to disrupt and innovate to ensure a more sustainable world. By focusing on being more sustainable and creating innovative solutions, an emphasis on resource efficiency will stimulate technological innovation, especially in the fast developing green technology sector, opening up new market opportunities. Digital transformation (Industry 4.0) is reshaping most industrial sectors and young entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in the process. These technologies, supported by coherent and adequate policies, could be immediately deployed on a large scale and stimulate investment.

Between 2010 and 2015 global GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.1% while energy demand grew by just 1.4%.  This highlights the impact that the efforts of individual countries and international collaboration are having on the shift towards a more resource efficient economy. However, there are still opportunities for improvement in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, transportation and other energy consuming sectors. In particular, fast-growing regions that suffer from a lack of energy access, such as some Sub-Saharan African countries, could benefit from increased industrial collaboration and international coordination.

International organizations are increasingly focusing on resource efficiency. The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development emphasizes that the sustainable management of resources is fundamental to eradicating poverty, improving environmental resilience and preventing future generations from resource scarcity[3].  Moreover, with the established Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the global community has committed itself to take immediate actions on climate change, limiting global temperature increase to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to reach 1.5°C. With these international policies in place, we are becoming more transparent and effective at working together to create a more resource-efficient world.

Recommendations from young entrepreneurs across the G20
Raising international awareness about resource efficiency will lead to policy actions that can create a more sustainable value chain. This means that business, government and societies need to implement changes that begin with the managing of resource stocks, moving to the optimization of production processes, improving operations and logistics, influencing overall consumption patterns, and, finally, minimizing waste to include the reinvention of “second life” products.  We, the young entrepreneurs from G20 countries, call upon our governments to focus on three areas: the circular economy, climate change mitigation and soil preservation.  We also urge consideration of the following recommendations:

1.    Regulation. Implement a harmonized regulatory framework between national and regional environmental legislation, with the aim of granting a clearer governance process. This is especially important to encourage private investments;

2.  Investment. Strengthen the climate mitigation dialogue among G20 countries, promoting internationally recognized methods to measure and certify environmental and financial benefits obtained by good practices applied to mitigate carbon emissions, especially in the areas of infrastructure development and transportation. This would help give entrepreneurs a comprehensive view of the costs and opportunities of green economy investments;

3.        Infrastructure. Encourage G20 governments to implement plans for the deployment of green infrastructure and enable the use of new technologies and new sources of renewable energy;

4.   Lifecycle. Implement full lifecycle assessment approaches when evaluating technologies, examining the resources required for production as well as those needed to operate, maintain and dispose of them, as a more holistic life-long approach results in optimal resource allocation;

5.  Training. Involve and train local administrations to ensure that good practices undertaken by citizens and companies have an immediate result in terms of economic advantage for those who adopt them. This is important to stimulate good behaviors from private citizens, demonstrating how sustainable attitudes can result in immediate advantages;

6.    Partnership. Collaborate internationally on research & development efforts and increase public support to implement pilot projects. This would allow countries to maximize efforts and test new technologies on a broader scale, both in developing as well as in developed countries; and,

7.        Education. Promote internationally recognized degree programs, as well as secondary level courses and professional trainings in the field of resource efficiency. International collaboration would accelerate this transition, enabling practical exchanges of expertise among countries that have already mastered practices in sustainable technologies and infrastructures.

 

We, the young entrepreneurs of G20 YEA, commit to continue growing sustainable enterprises and urge the G20 governments to set up and coordinate appropriate frameworks unleashing the full potential of Resource Efficiency.

Discussed and unanimously adopted at the G20 YEA Johannesburg Leadership Assembly to contribute to the International Workshop on Resource Efficiency organized in the context of the Italian G7/B7 Presidency by Confindustria and Global Business Coalition.



[1] The 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report finds that Green Economy sectors generate new job opportunities. Only in USA almost 800,000 workers were employed in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear and advanced/low emission natural gas. In addition, 374,000 work for solar firms and 102,000 workers employed at wind farms across the nation, these sectors increased respectively by 25% and 32% in 2016.

[2] As per a recent publication of the European Commission, the Circular Economy is a win-win situation generating savings of €600 billion for EU businesses (8% of turnover), creating 580,000 jobs and reducing EU carbon emissions by 450 million tons by 2030.

[3] 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are strictly related to the sustainable management of the entire range of natural resources.

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