Germany Calls on G7 Nations to Reduce Use of Natural Resources

Germany called for Group of Seven nations to reduce the use of natural resources to help protect the environment.

Germany, holding the chair of the G7 this year, proposed the group agree to improve efficiency, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks told reporters Thursday in Berlin. About half of the carbon emitted by industry comes from steel, cement, paper, plastics and aluminum production, she said.

“Our goal must be to make more out of less,” Hendricks said before opening an international conference on resources. “If the G7 commits to resource efficiency, that’s an important signal to developing and emerging economies.”

Nations are vying for natural resources such as land, water and rare-earth minerals as scientists estimate the population of the world will grow to 9 billion by the middle of the century. Global temperatures are on track to warm by 3.6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the fastest shift in 10,000 years.

“We are reaching our boundaries” in industries including agriculture, with a third of food production wasted, Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations’ Environment Program, said at the event. “This won’t work in the future anymore.”

Countries need to increase recycling and expand incentives for energy and resource efficiency, he said.

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