A meeting of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue 2019 and Follow-up of the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter (G20 Implementation Framework) was held on 9-10 October, 2019 in Tokyo. This is the first opportunity to operationalize the outcomes regarding marine litter, especially marine plastic litter and microplastics, and resource efficiency agreed at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth held on 15-16 June, 2019 in Karuizawa as well as the G20 Summit Meeting held on 28-29 June in Osaka, Japan. The Chair of the meeting highly appreciated the valuable contributions of participants from G20 members, outreach countries, international organizations and relevant organizations. The Chair’s Summary aims to summarize presentations, discussions and key outcomes at the meeting based on the understanding and responsibility of the Chair.
Remarks by the Environment Minister of Japan
1. The Minister for the Environment of Japan, KOIZUMI Shinjiro, delivered his welcome remarks emphasizing two key points to address marine plastic litter challenges and realize the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, namely, ‘global innovation’ and ‘local action’. He then called on participants to take leadership to save our beautiful oceans.
Concrete Activities for the G20 Implementation Framework
2. Based on information provided from G20 members, a report which summarized each member’s policies, measures, achievements, challenges and best practices in line with the G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter, was prepared for initial information sharing and peer learning in accordance with the G20 Implementation Framework. The summary report will be disseminated for the use of other countries and the public.
3. The meeting appreciated the first opportunity, and looked forward to continued updates and sharing of such information in a more quantitative, detailed and focussed manner, in accordance with national circumstances and the level of interest.
4. Representatives of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Ocean Conservancy, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, the World Bank Group, the Global Environment Facility and the World Economic Forum presented their initiatives/programs relevant to the G20 Implementation Framework focusing on international cooperation.
5. The meeting acknowledged their presentations and recognized that a variety of windows for international cooperation and opportunities for technical support were offered by international organizations, industry groups and NGOs. Suggestions were made to further promote needs-oriented international cooperation including through identifying broader strategic frameworks, pursuing public private partnership, and understanding local needs.
6. The outcomes of the G20 Workshop on Scientific Knowledge and Innovative Solutions for Marine Plastic Litter co-organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ), EU DG Environment and US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), were reported by the three co-chairs of the workshop.
7. The meeting noted the report and expressed its strong expectations to continue such work to produce tangible outcomes. Suggestions were made, for instance, on the importance of comprehensive life-cycle approach, interlinkages between resource efficiency and marine plastic litter challenges, and the role of behavioural change.
8. Representatives of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the International Resource Panel (IRP) presented their activities relevant to the G20 Implementation Framework.
9. The meeting acknowledged their presentations and welcomed their willingness to advance work and report it back to the G20 members. Suggestions were made to further enhance coherence between their work and activities under the G20 Implementation Framework and the G20 Marine Litter Action Plan.
10. The meeting identified anticipated future activities for the G20 Implementation Framework, including but not limited to:
(1) Continued sharing and updating of quantitative information and details of best practices, and collection of information from wider partners including NGOs and the private sector, as well as effective dissemination and outreach of such information including by establishing a portal with the support of MOEJ;
(2) Calling on other members of the international community to share the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, as well as scaling up activities in line with the G20 Implementation Framework and the G20 Marine Litter Action Plan by inviting the participation and collaboration of non-G20 countries, and relevant international and regional organizations utilizing every possible occasion;
(3) Enhancing opportunities for international cooperation by identifying capacity building needs of developing countries, and bridging a wide range of initiatives/programs and potential recipients at regional, national and local levels;
(4) Joint initiatives of MOEJ, EU DG Environment and USEPA to voluntarily take a lead in further elaborating key issues (such as ‘sources, pathways, and impacts as well as measures to combat plastic waste leakage’ by EU DG Environment; ‘harmonized monitoring and data compilation’ by MOEJ; ‘innovative solutions’ by USEPA) by holding workshops; and,
(5) Contribution of relevant international organizations to advance their work relevant to the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision and the G20 Implementation Framework, including global statistics and trend analysis, and report the progress/outcomes to the G20 members; and,
(6) Identifying and filling knowledge gaps, in particular in developing counties with the support of relevant international organizations.
11. The meeting expressed its high expectation that the concrete progress and outcomes of such activities would be shared, as appropriate, for further discussing and advancing actions to prevent and significantly reduce discharges of plastic litter and microplastics to the oceans. It welcomed the broadest possible participation of any countries in the G20 Implementation Framework by simply notifying their intention in writing to the G20 Presidency.
Roadmap of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue
12. Pursuant to the invitation from the G20 Karuizawa Ministerial Meeting and the expectation from the G20 Osaka Summit Meeting, the meeting developed a Roadmap for G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue by consensus as a guidance to effectively promote, not to prescribe or restrict, the future activities of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue as attached to this Chair’s Summary. The meeting recognized the Roadmap as a living document to be elaborated and revised by the future G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue, if necessary, while also recognizing that its Annex may be updated upon a request from any G20 member.
13. The meeting recognized that activities in the Roadmap can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. It also recognized the importance of continuing cooperation with relevant international organizations such as OECD, UNIDO, ERIA and IRP in informing the activities of the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue as set out in the Roadmap.
Progress of Resource Efficiency Policies
14. Japan presented its initiative to develop a follow-up report of G7 resource efficiency policies in collaboration with G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency, followed by presentations from EU, Italy, Germany, France and US. A co-chair of the IRP presented its analytical work on the current status of resource use of G20. There was also a presentation on policy gap analysis in the context of emerging economy conducted by EU and ASEAN.
15. The meeting recognized the usefulness of continued information sharing on resource efficiency policies and measures, and the importance of science-based approaches in the monitoring and assessment of progress, with a perspective on spurring a virtuous cycle of environment and growth by engaging with the private sector and employing appropriate indicators.
Remarks by the next Presidency
16. A representative of Saudi Arabia delivered closing remarks indicating that the next Presidency will maintain the focus on marine plastic litter and resource efficiency issues during its Presidency, keeping the momentum of the G20 Implementation Framework, the G20 Resource Efficiency Roadmap in accordance with national circumstances, priorities and needs.