United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Brazil and Nicaragua

11th Session of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals
Focus area 11 - Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
Focus area 12 - Climate Change
05/07/2014
Statement by Brazil and Nicaragua
[focus area 11 - Sustainable Consumption and Production]
Mr. Co-chair,
Differentiation between developing and developed countries must be an integral part of
focus areas 9 and 10, in which historical responsibilities for greenhouse gas emissions
and for unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are undeniable.
The environmental challenges we are currently facing derives from unsustainable patterns
of consumption and production in developed countries. At the same time, developing
countries are engaged in their legitimate efforts to eradicate poverty and raise the material
standards of living for their populations.
In order to address the current unsustainable patterns of consumption and production we
need a "course correction". This means addressing consumerist life-styles and the culture
of "overcomsumption" created and largely fostered by developed countries.
We should also acknowledge previous agreements regarding the application of the
principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. In this regard, we must reaffirm
the undeniable responsibility of developed countries to exercise leadership in promoting a
paradigmatic shift in the way their societies produce and consume.
Those are essential elements of Rio+20 outcome document, which should be reflected
both in terms of targets addressing unsustainable consumption patterns and calling for the
leadership of developed countries in correcting the course.
Mr. Co-chair,
Nicaragua and Brazil support focus area 9 as the basis for a dedicated goal on sustainable
consumption and production. SCP constitutes the area with perhaps the greatest
transformative potential. We believe it is a mandatory requirement to avoiding the
business-as-usual scenario in the new development agenda. Therefore, we need further
ambition and differentiation to harness its transformative potential.
In relation to focus area 9, I would like to present the following comments:
i) Regarding item d), I would request a more direct language focusing on: "sustainable
lifestyles, particularly in developed countries". Although we acknowledge that the
"culture of sufficiency" is crucial for changing patterns in developed societies, the
definition of what is sufficient consumption is disputable, especially in the context of
poverty eradication in developing countries. We suggest the following language: by
"2030 implement policies to create a culture of sustainable lifestyles, particular in
developed countries"
ii) Item e) is extremely important, but requires more direct language and a reference to
the leadership role of developed countries. Our proposal would read: "by 2020 establish
incentives that promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, in developed
countries, including through a product life-cycle approach."
Still regarding item e) we observe that such target should be aligned with the disciplines
of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, in order to avoid arbitrary
discrimination against exports from different countries.
iii) With respect to item f), we wish to underscore that reporting on corporate social and
environmental responsibility should take into account local circumstances, especially
financial and human resources constraints faced by companies in developing countries.
Translating into practice the differentiated responsibilities of countries in accordance with
respective capacities and the leadership role of developed countries on SCP, we would
request adding to item f) that developed countries must attain a higher percentage of
reporting from their companies compared to developing countries.
iv) We would request an additional item addressing non-biodegradable material. We
propose the following language: "Reduce by X% consumption of non-biodegradable
materials, in particular plastic, in developed countries by 2030." It is widely accepted that
plastic waste has become a serious threat to inland water bodies, such as rivers and lakes,
and even to the oceans and marine environment.
v) We also support the following suggestions already presented the OWG group, namely:
- Reduce per capita energy consumption in developed countries by x% by 2030;
- Reduce per capita wastage of food at consumer level in developed countries by x% by
2030;
- Promote sound management of chemicals and hazardous materials in accordance with
agreed international frameworks.
v) Finally, under means of implementation, Nicaragua and Brazil support a target aimed
at strengthening the 10-Year Framework Program on Sustainable Consumption and
Production (10YFP), as follows: to "ensure the immediate, full and effective
implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Program on Sustainable Consumption and
Production Patterns, taking into account that developed countries should take the lead in
the process".
[Focus area 12 - climate change]
Mr. Co-chair,
Brazil and Nicaragua recall that in our previous meeting many delegations requested
climate change to be mainstreamed. We would like to reiterate that request. The urgent
need to tackle climate change must be addressed in the narrative, as one of the most
pressing issues mankind faces today.
We are against the "placeholder" included in the latest working document, according to
which a goal on climate change would be based on the outcome of COP-21 of UNFCCC.
Focus area 12 is the only one to adopt such an automatic cross-reference to other
processes. This signals lack of political support for a stand-alone goal dedicated to
climate change.
Concerns related to climate change are already addressed in other focus areas, such as
sustainable consumption and production, agriculture, infrastructure, industrialization,
economic growth, biodiversity and ecosystems.
There is nothing to be gained by putting a "placeholder" linked to the results of COP-21,
whose negotiating process, as we know, follows a completely separate track and has its
own negotiating framework, forum and dynamics. If we take this course of action on
climate change why then not do the same in all other areas that are also subjected to their
own specific negotiating processes, such as trade, finance, forests, etc. This is definitely a
course of action to be avoided, as it would bring discredit to our work and undermine the
importance of the SDGs.
I thank you Mr. Co-chair