United Nationsإدارة الشؤون الاقتصادية والاجتماعية التنمية المستدامة

France, Germany and Switzerland

FR-DE-CH intervention – 10th OWG

Comments regarding the co-chairs proposal dated March 19, 2014


Cluster 4: Focus area 8 “Economic growth”, Focus area 9 “Industrialization”, Focus area 10 “Infrastructure”, Focus area 7 “Energy”.


Focus area 8 “Economic growth” and Focus area 9 “Industrialization”

➢ The way SDGs will address economic growth and industrialization will be critical for accelerating the transition towards sustainable development through a truly transformative agenda, considering the social, economic and environmental limits of the existing growth and industrialization patterns.

➢ The co-chairs paper should be clarified in this respect: in our view, we won’t get sustained growth without making it sustainable, considering resources scarcity, climate change, the health and environmental impact of current production and consumption patterns and growing inequalities. Therefore, the targets related to economic growth and industrialization should absolutely be transformative.

➢ We would encourage merging economic growth and industrialization into one single goal on “sustainable and inclusive growth”, with a strong integration of the following challenges: SCP, resource efficiency, innovation, women’s economic empowerment, resilience to climate change, equality, decent work, use and exposure to chemicals and health, while taking into consideration inter-linkages with education and national and international governance.

➢ The role of the private sector in achieving the targets and the importance of creating adequate framework conditions for a dynamic and sustainable development of the private sector, should also be emphasized.

➢ We propose the following targets for promoting a both inclusive and sustainable growth :
- We had highlighted four targets on Tuesday under Employment and Decent Work which could be considered under this goal also. In addition, we propose the following additional targets:
- Decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and resource use and ensure that natural resources are used efficiently and sustainably within the carrying capacity of the planet by 2030,
- Internalize environmental external costs and promote natural capital accounting
- Increase investments and innovation for green, inclusive and climate resilient economy;
- Generalize a life-cycle approach and circular economy, especially through increasing prevention, re-use, recycling and energy recovery of waste and significantly reduce landfilling so that the majority of waste globally is managed as a resource;
- Develop carbon sobriety and include sustainability criteria all along the chain of production and consumption, including sustainable supply chains;
- Based on the 2020 goal on sound management of chemicals and waste, reducie use and exposure to chemicals and toxic waste, including through the development of non-chemical alternatives;
- Promote corporate social and environmental responsibility in public and private sectors, notably by requiring economic, social and environmental accounts;
- Enable consumers to take informed decisions, through the provision of relevant information, notably on product, standards and labels, as well as through education and awareness raising and appropriate incentives;
- Gradually eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies that are incompatible with sustainable development, including for fossil fuel;
- Increase the market share of sustainable products and services, including through competitive and transparent public procurement processes that follow sustainable development guidelines;
- We also want to put emphasize on the critical role of the equal participation of women in economies, an open, rules-based and development-friendly multilateral trading system, access to science, technology and innovation to be included in the SCDs targets.
- Promote an open, rules-based and development-friendly multilateral trading system and ensure the stability of the global financial system incl. the promotion of responsible finance
- Strengthen productive capacity by sharing access to science, technology and innovation and by increasing the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Promote equal opportunities and the full and equal participation of women and men in social and economic development.
Focus area 10 “Infrastructure”

The role of infrastructure is important for providing the basis for sustainable development. The map of inequality highlight that most of the poor live in remote areas and that it exists a strong correlation between connectivity, access to globalisation and development. Furthermore, infrastructures are structural enabler for the transition towards a more sustainable development patterns, in particular for transforming energy network, cities and territories planning, including transports, economic, production and consumption patterns. Finally, the acceleration of climate change and the increased frequency of disasters imply to strengthen infrastructures resilience to protect human lives, their economies and settlements.

Therefore, we see strong links between this focus area and the focus areas on “Economic growth” and “Sustainable cities and human settlements”, “Energy”, « SCP » and « Climate » and therefore we think infrastructure related challenges should be address as a cross-cutting issue, to be integrated in these areas.

In this respect, we strongly welcome the co-chairs document which reflect this transversal role of infrastructures while addressing under this focal areas : modern energy services, sustainable transport and communications, water-related issues (supply, irrigation storage, wastewater treatment), environmental and social impacts and life-cycle perspective, urban infrastructure planning and sustainable tourism.

We would like to insist in particular on infrastructure energy targets because the development of sustainable energy network and the transition from classical energy to those one is a precondition for providing sustainable climate smart energy for all. The target « ensuring universal access to modern energy services » and « double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix » should be included on the energy goal.

We also would like to put emphasize on sustainable connectivity with two targets to be, for instance, included in a goal related to sustainable cities and territories :
➢ Support access to basic services for all and healthy living conditions by following the recommendations of the “International Guidelines on Decentralization and Access to Basic Services for all” : water, sanitation, waste management, energy, transport, communications, notably access to Internet, primary education, health and public safety;
➢ Support the development and implementation of urban and territorial planning policies through participatory processes to create more compact and inclusive cities, better integrated and connected, with sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure, transports and other services, encouraging social cohesion and resilience to climate change;


Focus area 7 “Energy”

The co-chairs’ focus area on energy provides us with a very good basis for discussion.
Global sustainable development, including combating poverty and climate change, is impossible without improved access to sustainable and financially affordable energy for all. In addition, fostering renewable energies, low carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency contribute to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and also offer new economic opportunities.
The important linkages between the energy sector and other sectors (or cross-cutting topics) such as poverty alleviation, food security, water, health, gender issues, equity, education, sustainable consumption and production should also be recognized in a post-2015 architecture.
We believe that the Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative already provides a substantial and widely accepted approach which can be built upon. The three objectives put forward by the initiative offer a coherent global and concise framework to be achieved by 2030, that could be translated into targets in a possible SDG on energy :
1) ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
2) doubling the global rate of improvement of energy efficiency;
3) doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix;

Building on the Secretary General’s proposal, we would suggest that, in addition to these three targets proposed, the following dimensions could also be included:
4) supporting national enabling environments, including energy policy frameworks, for universal access to sustainable energy
5) Rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies;
6) Strengthen transparency and financial regulation of energy markets