Shifting to a circular economy could cut the country's greenhouse gases by 44%, says The Ellen Macarthur Foundation
There is an awkward clash lying at the heart of India’s modernisation: between the brashness of an emergent consumerism that seems almost inherently wasteful, and the more traditional “make do and mend” culture, much closer to ideals of a circular economy, but associated with an austere, parsimonious rural lifestyle that holds little appeal for twenty-first century Indians.
Is there a best of both worlds? The Ellen Macarthur Foundation thinks so. Its recent report, “Circular Economy in India: Rethinking Growth for Long Term Prosperity” is an impressive litany of opportunities to do things differently. Focused on three key areas – construction, mobility and agriculture – it concludes that shifting to a circular model could, by 2050, cut greenhouse gases by 44%, dramatically reduce congestion and pollution, boost health outcomes and produce a net dividend of $624bn – equal to 30% current GDP.
The report has drawn support from a wide range of Indian companies and campaigners, and is filled with examples of transformative technologies that could help spin the economy round. Some will need some pretty far-reaching changes in established practice, whether it’s transforming farming methods, or persuading people out of their cars. They include: