United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia, The Netherlands and United Kingdom

Climate change and sustainable consumption and production are absolutely essential components of the goals framework. We need to get this right, if we are to eradicate poverty and ensure prosperity for all – and to deal with climate-related natural disasters. Climate and SCP are cross-cutting issues which need to be properly integrated into a number of goals, in particular growth, food, health, water and energy. Cities need to be treated in similar way.

It will not be possible to eradicate poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. Climate change is a major challenge for all countries, but the poorest and most vulnerable are hardest hit. We all need to adapt to a changing climate, and the poorest have the least capacity to do so.

The recently published Fifth Assessment by the IPCC underscores the need for action. We must respond.

The post-2015 framework should visibly recognize that tackling climate change and meeting the ‘below 2 degrees C objective’ is essential to poverty eradication and should support efforts to achieve this.

Turning to sustainable consumption and production, more efficient use of natural resources and more inclusive growth is critical to sustaining economic growth, creating jobs, raising living standards, and improving health and wellbeing – and to protecting and enhancing the environment and the ecosystem services it provides.

If we do not tackle unsustainable consumption and production patterns we will undermine long-term economic growth and our efforts to eradicate poverty. And we will have to bear the costs of remediation. Natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity are the resource base on which our societies and economies depend.

Put simply, we need to produce in a more sustainable way, using fewer resources and using them more efficiently and wasting less.

Cities and human settlements are engines of sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and development. No country has achieved successful economic development without urbanising. Over 50% of people now live in urban centres.

Good governance and effective planning are essential to allowing cities and human settlements to accommodate increasing urban populations and to maximise their economic benefits while safeguarding environmental standards.

Urban centres can provide opportunities for employment, better access to services, increase connectivity and can be creative hubs for innovation.

We have already mentioned a number of targets in our earlier statements which are relevant to climate, SCP and cities, including on infrastructure and energy including renewables, energy efficiency, and low-carbon development. And we now suggest the following targets for consideration in the framework:

- Increase natural resource regulatory frameworks which incorporate effective mechanisms for environmental and social sustainability
- Sound management of chemical and hazardous wastes in the long term
- Increase the efficiency with which we use our natural resources
- Increase the rate of resource productivity by [x]%
- Promote sustainable supply chain management
- Consider increasing the proportion of sustainable public procurement
- Consider the use of economic, social and environmental accounts by all governments and major companies
- Reduce the negative externalities of natural resource exploitation by strengthening resource governance, promoting sustainable exploitation of renewable resources, reducing corruption and enhancing accountability and transparency
- Promote awareness among consumers on resource efficiency of products and raw materials used
- Highlight the importance of a product life-cycle approach in helping and informing the most effective and efficient use of resources and their improved governance
- Invest in infrastructure to improve access and accessibility to safe and sustainable transport – and improve road safety
- Ensure safe air quality for all through standards on particulate matter
- Provide reliable and affordable access to basic services and improve access to secure and affordable housing and land tenure
- Improving waste and wastewater management
- Strengthening resilience to climate change and natural disasters, including water-related disasters
- Enhancing capacities for integrated urban planning
- Enhancing social cohesion and personal security
- Hold the increase in global average temperature below 2⁰ C above pre-industrial levels, in line with international agreements.

Finally, in our discussion, a number of colleagues have raised CBDR. While we agree that this is an important concept, as are all the Rio principles, we believe that CBDR is relevant to multilateral environment agreements, and does not apply to the post-2015 development framework and the SDGs.