United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Bulgaria and Croatia

Open- Working Group on
Sustainable Development Group
10th Meeting

Sustainable cities and human settlements
Promote sustainable consumption and production

Mr. Co-Chair,

I have the honour to make this intervention on behalf of Bulgaria and Croatia.

Today almost half of the whole humanity, about 3.5 bilion people, lives in the cities and it is to be expected that almost 60 per cent of the global population will be concentrated in urban areas by 2030. At the same time, cities occupy only 2 per cent of Earth's surface but nevertheless account for 60 to 80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions. Additionally, currently there are also a close to one billion people living in extremely difficult conditions in slams all over the world, and their size and numbers keep on rising every day. Bulgaria and Croatia believe that sustainable cities are one of the important cross-cutting areas to be reflected across multiple goals. Certainly, these endeavors require many different partnerships and sharing of best practices and expertise. We should also keep in mind that local authorities, civil community and private sector have a large responsibility in it all, but also a significant existential interest and business perspectives as well.

We see merit to formulate targets in following action areas: reduce pollution, ensure necessary funding to provide basic services, address shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure, ensure access to education and health services and other basic services like water, sanitation, sufficient living area, energy or security of tenure; reduce pressure on natural resources; improve waste management; strengthen physical security and safety and increase the resilience to natural disasters, develop sustainable efficient transport systems.

But building sustainable cities, integrated with wider including rural areas, will contribute to achieving greater equitability, economic growth, social cohesion and poverty eradication while protecting the environment. Finally, we also underline the importance of an integrated approach to urban planning and governance.

Sustainable consumption and production. We believe that in Post-2015 framework, the sustainable consumption and production (SCP) should be integrated as a cross-cutting objective throughout other main focus areas. They should also be supported by targets of multilateral environmental agreements in force. This would create a forward-looking interlinkages between inherently complex, but complementary dimensions of sustainable development.

SCP policies are the means to decoupling the economic growth from resource consumption and environmental degradation, to leap-frog to a more resource-efficient, profitable and cleaner growth and the means to reduce inequalities and secure social justice.

With a view of staying within Earth's carrying capacity, it is important for all of us to achieve a greater social responsibility, new business models, as well as innovations and new, committed public policies.

More specifically, inter alia, this requires us to have following targets:

- raise awareness of both enterprises and consumers regarding their footprint in order to stimulate them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well as exploitation of natural resources,
- invest more in energy efficiency and renewable energy,
- decrease waste generation as well as improve chemicals and waste management, particularly in the marine environment, and improving recycling and the recovery of valuable materials,
- introduce market and policy incentives and regulations
- eliminate all types of discrimination on labor market, especially concerning women
- establish non-discriminatory and transparent sustainability criteria in procurement
- reduce both food loss and waste of all origins throughout the food supply chain and ensure healthier food production
- advance and support sustainable tourism

We need to bear in mind that by shifting to more sustainable consumption and production patterns, we can also make significant contributions to other aims, such as environment protection, energy, social equality, inclusiveness, health, employment, sustainable agriculture, waste and natural resources.

Finally, it is usually the poorest and the most vulnerable that are the first victims of unsustainable production and consumption. So we need to build on the 10YFP of action to enhance international cooperation to accelerate the shift towards SCP in countries.

Climate. The world has undergone many changes and is faced with continuous environmental degradation, rising greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. We have been witnessing more frequent extreme weather conditions, which are directly related to climate change, consequently influencing livelihoods and in particular the poor that are vulnerable to degradation and depletion of natural resources and particularly dependent on them.

Croatia and Bulgaria believe the climate related issues are cross-cutting issues. They are closely related to sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, health and population dynamics, energy, gender equality and women’s empowerment, sustainable consumption and production, sustainable cities and human settlements, conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas, ecosystems and biodiversity. We think it is crucial to address climate change and disaster risk reduction among the priorities of the Post-2015 framework. Therefore, we need to address climate change, comprehensive risk reduction and resilience, mitigation and adaptation in the context of development. We think that all future goals in post-2015 agenda should be climate proof. We find in particular useful to have targets in areas described in Co-Chairs document under a), b), d), e) and f).

In conclusion, Croatia and Bulgaria believe there are mutually reinforcing global processes underway on climate change and DRR aiming at reaching a new comprehensive climate agreement with legally-binding commitment for all by 2015 at the latest on one hand and defining the Post-2015 Hyogo framework (Hyogo Framework of Action 2) for disaster risk reduction on the other. The goals that will be globally agreed in those processes will represent a firm basis for further efforts towards prevention of climate change and disaster risk reduction.