United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Denmark, Ireland and Norway

OWG 10 – Remarks by Norway, Ireland and Denmark on Sustainable cities and human settlements (FA 13)

Given the projected increase in population in urban areas by the middle of this century, the cities of the world will be a key arena for addressing a number of challenges related to sustainable development and poverty eradication.

We would like to highlight the following priority areas for action, that we think should be considered included in the SDG framework:

• First, we need to intensify the work we started with the target on slum dwellers in the MDGs. We support a target aimed at further improving the living conditions of slum dwellers, including adequate and affordable housing, adequate water, sanitation and energy as well as other basic infrastructure and services;

• Second, we support a target on improving access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable urban transport, which would also contribute to improving air quality;

• Third, we would like to see a target on efficient and sustainable waste and wastewater management;

• Fourth, we would like to see a target on enhancing capacities of local governments for building resilience to climate change and natural disasters in urban planning.

• Fifth – Local governance will need to be inclusive, effective and accountable in order to ensure that the needs of the poor and marginalized are met and that they can play a productive role in making cities efficient, safe and inclusive.

OWG 10: Remarks by Denmark, Ireland and Norway on Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (Focus area 14):

We find that the text covers most of the central issues related to promoting sustainable consumption and production.

The key elements we would like to see reflected in the SDG framework regarding SCP are:
• sustainable public procurement,
• reporting on corporate social and environmental responsibility;
• sound management of chemicals and hazardous materials, and phasing out the use of harmful chemicals;
• reducing, recycling and reusing waste,
• Promoting the use of best available techniques within all sectors of production, resource efficiency and sustainable product design, taking a life cycle approach;
• Promoting sustainable management and use of natural resources

These targets are relevant for a number of other focus areas such as biodiversity and ecosystems, oceans, agriculture, water, energy and economic growth, industrialization, infrastructure and health.

OWG 10: Remarks by Norway, Ireland and Denmark on Climate (Focus area 15):

Climate change is rightly described as posing a grave threat to sustainable development and poverty eradication. The sustainable development goals and targets we are crafting should help us in our efforts to reduce emissions, build resilience and adapt to the effects of climate change and strengthen our capacity to manage disaster risk.

Our approach is to make the SDGs climate smart by linking climate to priority development objectives throughout the set of goals and targets. We want to see targets that can produce solutions to key sustainable development challenges while benefitting climate. That way the SDG framework will support and complement the efforts being made under the UNFCCC, while avoiding duplication of the discussions and processes undertaken there.

The following are some examples of the kind of climate smart targets we have proposed:

• In Energy, we and many others have proposed targets that will both benefit the climate and have strong positive impact on development objectives. These include access to modern energy services, increasing the share of renewables, improving energy efficiency and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
• In Health, we suggested a target to reduce the huge health threat of indoor and outdoor air pollution, a target with major co-benefits for combatting climate change.
• Similarly, a target to improve access to sustainable urban transport will enhance development and growth while improving air quality.
• With inclusion of targets that enhance the preservation of ecosystems, we improve adaptive capacity and strengthen defense against extreme events.
• Reducing deforestation will help prevent floods and droughts and reduce harmful emissions, and maintaining water supply.
• One effect of increasing participation, empowering women and reducing vulnerabilities, is to help avoid that extreme events, whether climate related or not, turn into disasters.
• Preserving wild and farmed genetic diversity will help safeguard food supply against effects of climate change, pests and other threats. Promoting resilient and climate smart food production will have similar effects for food and nutrition security.
These are examples of targets that will greatly improve development prospects while helping to drive the global climate change effort. We will continue to develop the integration of climate across the framework as we proceed.