United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Achieving sustainable consumption and production, along with eradication of poverty
and the protection and management of the natural resource base, are key outcomes
sought from sustainable development.
The Secretary General?s report and the associated papers around the Marrakech
Process are very useful in detailing progress to date. We need to build on that
With reference to the questions posed by the Chair I would like to identify some
examples of action which may have the potential for broader application.
Achieving sustainable mining is an example of where piecemeal policies and
measures are unlikely to deliver a good result. The mining sector is viable and
sustainable as a sector where delivered as a partnership between Governments
(Federal, State, Provincial, Local); industry (mining and non-mining); indigenous and
non-indigenous communities with standing and supported by strong and appropriate
governance and regulatory structures. Through this partnership the proper signals
can be sent to producers and consumers around sustainable choices.
? This public/private/community cooperation provides for poverty reduction
efforts, delivery of employment and training opportunities, for hard and soft
infrastructure of importance to the industry, the region and local communities;
and of course a taxation stream for use by the Government.
Approaches toward sustainable mining production are already elements of a number
of international initiatives in the Asia Pacific and African region.
Australia agrees with the premise that education is, and will continue to be, important.
We have had some success in inspiring young people through our National Action
Plan for Education for Sustainability. It complements one of Australia?s national
educational goals: that students become active and informed citizens who work for
the common good, in particular by sustaining and improving natural and social
The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (which will engage with millions of
Australian children over the next decade) promotes a whole-school approach to
sustainability education, and aims to equip the school community with the attitudes,
values, behaviors and capacity to understand and take action on complex
sustainability issues.
Energy Efficiency1
We have heard many examples over this session of methodologies and frameworks
that exist to help decision makers drive sectoral resource efficiency and decoupling
from economic growth.
Our Solar Cities Program actively identifies and implements actions that address
barriers that challenge the widespread use of solar technology, energy efficiency and
electricity demand management. It focuses on changing attitudes and perceptions,
leading to a lower energy use and a decrease in reliance on existing energy sources.
In relation to general lighting we have restricted the use of inefficient incandescent
lightbulbs and have introduced mandatory minimum energy performance standards ?
these two measures alone are expected to return upward of $380 million per annum in
savings to the Australian economy by 2020.
Green Government
One of the questions that have been raised in this session relates to what best
practices have emerged to promote better management of materials throughout their
life cycle?
Green procurement practices are powerful market based mechanisms with a strong
track record of driving change.
Australian Government procurement guidelines require that the value for money of a
good or service be considered on a basis of whole-of-life costing.
Importantly we can also address the social element of sustainable development in
our procurement guidelines ? for example, if procurement of goods or services takes
place in an area of significant indigenous disadvantage, then the guidelines require
that in the procurement of the goods or services options to improve that
disadvantage are addressed.
The Australian Delegation has been struck over the course of the last two sessions
with the richness of the many practical ideas, actions and initiatives already in-train,
already contributing to SCP. We also recognize those statements drawing attention
to gaps as well as barriers to implementation.
Our challenge must be to:
1. build on progress to date;
2. draw inspiration from the many ideas and actions before us;
3. clearly understand where the gaps are and what barriers exist to
implementation; and
4. provide clarity to all through a strong Ten Year Framework SCP plan detailing
clear objectives, specific actions and realistic timeframes.
Thank you Mr Chairman
1 Energy Efficiency not delivered verbally due to time constraints