United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Australia, The Netherlands and United Kingdom

Australia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom
Sustainable Development Goals Open Working Group, 11th Session, May 2014
Constituency Statement

Cluster 4: Economic Growth, Employment, Infrastructure and Energy
• Strong, sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth is essential to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development — it should be at the centre of the post 2015 agenda
- the sustainable development goals should tackle the barriers to economic growth and create a strong enabling environment for that growth to take place.

• To this end our troika welcomes the strong focus on economic growth in the co-chairs latest draft report.
• We need policies that encourage economic transformation, including industrialisation. These will be critical to the development of modern dynamic, productive economies that lead to mass job creation.
• Increasing employment is an important way in which growth is translated into poverty reduction.
• Sustainable energy and infrastructure are essential for economic growth and sustainable development.
• As well as linking and supporting each other, economic growth, infrastructure and modern energy have links across the sustainable development goals, for example:
- access to infrastructure supports greater access to health services and education, and greater food security
- inclusive economic growth is boosted by greater equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Economic Growth and Employment
• We propose a goal on strong, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and jobs and welcome the support we have heard for this goal. We support many of the issues covered by the focus area. Our preferred targets and their expression are as follows:
- create a sound macro-economic environment with strong fiscal, monetary and tax policies
- create an enabling environment for business with strong national economic institutions and policies that support investment and promote competition
- promote an open and inclusive rules-based trading system, including by
: increasing the least developed countries’ share of global trade and market access for least developed countries; and
: improving trade efficiency, including by carrying out trade facilitation measures, tackling non-tariff barriers to trade, and removing harmful tariffs
- increasing global foreign direct investment to least developed countries
- increase the number of productive and decent jobs and livelihoods
- provide access to financial services for all – including the ability to open a bank account and access basic credit
- implement national natural resource management regulatory frameworks to improve sustainability
- encourage greater resource productivity of economic activities, through sustainable supply chains.

• We also note target a) from the Working Document highlighting the importance of increasing income at the bottom of the income distribution and have referred to that in our statement on poverty and inequality.

Energy and Infrastructure
• We propose a combined goal on promoting sustainable energy and infrastructure.

• Access to modern energy services is crucial to human well-being, as well as national economic development. Electricity and clean cooking would have immediate impacts on poor people’s lives and livelihoods, particularly the women and children who bear the brunt of energy poverty.

• On energy we support many of the issues covered by the focus areas. Our preferred targets and their expression are as follows:
- ensure universal access to modern energy services
- double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
- double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency in buildings, industry, agriculture and transport
- phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption
• We support strengthening the focus on infrastructure and propose the following targets:
- invest in infrastructure for sustainable development, including:
: improving access and accessibility to safe and sustainable transport
: improving access to ICT including mobile technology and broadband
: improving urban planning to allow businesses to thrive and prevent the formation of slums; and
: improving disaster and climate resilience.
- improve regional and trans-border infrastructure to promote effective regional economic integration and facilitate trade.