PAGE India identifies priority areas for support

As one of its inception activities, PAGE India is undertaking a comprehensive stocktaking study to establish a baseline and to identify and elaborate priority areas for PAGE support. One national and three sub-National consultation workshops have taken place in the Eastern, Northern and Western Indian states during July and August.

The National workshop was conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi on August 20, 2019 to further refine the priorities identified in the sub-national consultations and to deliberate upon the national issues focusing on tools and policy solutions, specifically around SDG 12 (sustainable consumption and production) and synergies with SDG 8 (employment and economic growth).

The workshop comprised discussions on three thematic areas: i) Sustainable Consumption and Production with a Focus on Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP) and Eco-labels. ii) Resource Efficiency and Circularity in MSMEs and iii) Employment and Livelihoods in the Context of Just Transitions.

The thematic area of ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production with a Focus on SPP and Eco-labels’ is an important focus area as India spends around 25 per cent of the GDP on Government procurement (MOF 2018). Furthermore, public procurement itself has been used as a tool to achieve various social objectives of inclusion and empowerment in India. The key issues for discussion for this session included opportunities and challenges in Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Sustainable Public Procurement (SPP), increasing adoption and scaling up of green labelling and certification, rationalizing the eco-labelling regime and institutional models and regulatory measures needed for SPP and eco-labels. The session deliberated upon ways and means to increase adoption and scaling up of green labelling and certification and institutional mechanisms to bring coherence for promoting standardization in this domain, given that the eco-labelling regime spans across the government and private domains.

The thematic session on Resource Efficiency and Circularity in MSMEs discussed the current state of resource efficiency and circularity in MSME policy; Business models for circular economy and the paradigm of ‘remanufacturing’, ‘reduce’, ‘reuse’, ‘repair’, ‘refurbish and ‘recycle’; interventions in terms of technology, innovation, finance and service delivery and their implications for skills and employment. It also discussed the industrial sectors which can be most promising for focused interventions in resource efficiency and the roadmap for such interventions.

The session on Employment and Livelihoods in the Context of Just Transitions touched on issues such as the implications of ‘just transition’ and decent jobs, green skills in the farm and non-farm sectors, the possibilities and trade-offs for achieving goals of social justice in a climate resilient economy and the interventions required for generating new skills for inclusive green transitions.

Apart from the sector-specific issues, the discussions specifically dwelt upon the priority areas for IGE transition as the key interventions on which PAGE should focus for making a difference in the particular sector. The workshop emphasized the need to leverage upon the specific existing programmes of the government wherever possible. There were detailed deliberations on the stocktaking study being conducted by TERI for PAGE engagement in India.

The workshop was successful in bringing several stakeholders and decision makers on one platform. It mobilised commitments from relevant stakeholders in the sectoral and thematic areas, as well as government functionaries on PAGE, sparking deliberations on thematic areas and generating several interesting and actionable ideas for PAGE India engagement plan.

Participants were drawn from among experts on sustainable economic development, MSMEs, resource efficiency, agriculture, livelihoods, ecosystems and biodiversity; government officials; policy think-tanks; representatives from industry associations, academia and research institutions; civil society representatives and other prominent stakeholders. The workshop was also attended by senior level state functionaries including the Principal Secretary of the State of Uttar Pradesh and senior officials from central government departments.