How can urban areas drive environmental protection and resource efficiency? On 1-2 March 2023, representatives from politics, business, science and civil society exchanged their insights at the international circular economy conference "Circular Resources for our Common Future: Cities as Drivers" at the Indian Habitat Center in the Indian capital city New Delhi.
The event was organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as part of the "Export Initiative for Environmental Protection" of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), which also operates in India on air pollution, sustainable mobility and organic waste. The conference was held jointly with the National Institute of Urban Affairs, the Council of Energy, Environment and Water, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI).
The aim of the conference was to present the results and findings from the Indian partner cities of the Export Initiative, Surat, Pune, Nagpur, Kochi, Kanpur and Port Blair, and to exchange views on good practices with thirty other Indian cities.
120 visitors participated in the programme. The first day of the conference was dedicated to the topics of energy and mobility, waste, water and sanitation. Start-ups and companies presented their innovative projects for sustainable solutions, including Bosch GmbH, that is part of the "National Clean Air Programme" in India. This programme is supported by GIZ in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. As part of this cooperation, solutions to reduce air pollution are being developed in three selected cities. The Deputy General Manager of Bosch GmbH, Mr. Pradeep T P, presented some of the results of this cooperation on sustainable urban mobility. He emphasized that modern technological solutions "support the compatibility of increasing mobility and sustainable urban development."
The second day of the conference focused on training sessions. The aim here was to present the participants useful digital tools that support local governments and companies in identifying their urban potential and offering starting points for the development of a circular economy by monitoring material flows in cities.
The conference was as an official side event of the Indian U20 Presidency under the motto "One Earth, One Family, One Future". The event provided an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing for stakeholders involved in the G20 process, such as Urban20 and Think Tank20.
Speakers at the conference included Antje Berger (BMUV foreign attaché for climate and environment at the German Embassy in New Delhi), Hitesh Vaidya (Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs, NIUA), G. Asok Kumar (Director General, National Water Mission , Government of India), Dinesh D Jagdale (Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India), Ms. Shruti Sadhukhan (Senior Program Coordinator at ICLEI South Asia) and Sharon Gil (Priject Manager, Sustainable Urban Development, UNEP ).