Circular Economy in India: Rethinking growth for long-term prosperity
By embarking on a circular economy transformation, India could create direct economic benefits for businesses and citizens while reducing negative externalities.
Having experienced sustained and rapid growth over the past two decades, India is facing a rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, with the associated negative externalities that this entails. Yet this scenario is not inevitable, as the country can preempt linear lock-ins.
Today, India stands at the threshold of profound choices. With its young population and emerging manufacturing sector, the country can make systemic choices that would put it on a trajectory towards positive, regenerative, and value creating development.
This report led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with the support of ClimateWorks and UNCTAD as knowledge partner, shows that a circular economy trajectory could bring India annual benefits of ₹40 lakh crore (US$ 624 billion) in 2050, and would in addition reduce negative externalities. For example, greenhouse gas emissions would be 44% lower in 2050 compared to the current development path.
The study focuses on three areas key to the Indian economy and society: cities and construction, food and agriculture, and mobility and vehicle manufacturing. It reveals that by launching new circular economy initiatives and reinforcing existing efforts, India could leverage its expected high levels of growth and development to build a more resource-effective system, creating value for businesses, the environment, and the Indian population.
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