Resource Efficiency Tops Germany’s G20 Agenda


Representatives of the world’s 20 strongest economies gathered in Berlin on Friday to hear and discuss a new global resource initiative to be presented by Germany at this year’s G20 summit in Hamburg.

Those present heard the latest figures and conclusions from the UN Global Resource Council, which painted a stark picture of global resource usage doubling by 2050 if no measures towards improved efficiency were taken.

However, the council also noted that with improved efficiency and climate friendly practices, the resource usage could fall by as much as 28 per cent within the same time frame.

“The government wants to use Germany’s G20 presidency to introduce a new initiative towards global resource efficiency,” said environmental minister Barbara Hendricks.

“We need strong partnerships with all economic powers to ensure that we do not keep pushing the boundaries of our planet.”

A key driver within the new initiative is the concept of Industrie 4.0, which aims to digitally revolutionise and streamline production processes. The concept of digitisation in particular is one that is currently dominating the German industrial landscape.

Parallel to the UN event was also a two day conference organised by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi), called ‘Digitising Manufacturing in the G20: Initiatives, Best Practice and Policy Approaches, which gathered together some 500 representatives of G20 countries from politics, business and civil service to talk about the opportunities presented by the Industrie 4.0 concept.

Digitisation and Industrie 4.0 are likely to dominate the agenda at next week’s CeBit trade show in Hannover, one year after the BMWi announced its ‘Digital Strategy 2025’ agenda.

“Digitisation is the current buzzword of the world’s production economy, and digitisation is the key technological process that will be the focus of global productive investment over the next few years,” said Dr. Benno Bunse, CEO of Germany’s federal economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest.

“But it will only be truly value-adding and effective if we are able to integrate concepts, ideas, technologies and investment from abroad, as well as exporting such in the other direction.

“G20 and the global resource efficiency initiative Germany is seeking to introduce will be critical platforms for discussions on how we can all best achieve this, using productive international investment.”