United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

European Union

? Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production is a key objective of
sustainable development. We need to make it happen at all levels by shaping and launching a
10-year framework of programmes (10YFP) in support of regional and national initiatives in
order to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP).
? CSD is the only international forum having Sustainable Consumption and Production in the
context of sustainable development on its agenda; therefore it has an eminent role in the
elaboration of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes (10YFP), which should be ambitious and
composed of two parts:
o a declaration on SCP outlining a common vision for all countries on the need to promote
it within a framework including program areas, overall goals in each area and
implementing structure, as well as,
o a series of specific programs for SCP with precise objectives, time frames and means of
implementation, as well as sectors and actors to accelerate the shift towards SCP and
respond to national and regional needs and priorities.
? The 10YFP for the period 2011- 2021 could be an important step to accelerate the shift towards
SCP patterns, which would correspond to present and future human needs within the capacity of
ecosystems, and thereby support, in a synergetic way, meeting the MDGs.
? Furthermore, the 10YFP, next to contributing to the very broad goal of changing unsustainable
consumption and production patterns can also be a major response to the current political
demand for input on how to green our economies.
? Such an accelerated shift toward SCP patterns for an eco-efficient economy requires a common
strategy to curb increasingly unsustainable trends, promote gender equality and social equity for
all, thereby bridging the gaps between countries in different stages of development.
? In this context, we also support the report of the Secretary General stressing the need of
concrete targets and identifying major strategic obstacles such as not considering the price of
natural resources and not including the price of pollution for produced goods and services.
? Such a shared vision could also ensure that, the 10YFP, as a key outcome of CSD19 will
contribute to the preparation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development of 2012, which
offers an excellent opportunity to further promote global action on SCP.
? As discussions for this should start without delay, let me share with you the EU preliminary
approach of a possible content of the 10YFP:
o We see it as constructive way to enter into early discussions on further progress for all
of us in this, and, needless to say, we are also wide open to listening to all views.
o A possible approach, giving balanced consideration to both the consumption and
production sides of the economy, could be structured alongside the main stages of the
life cycle of products: cleaner production processes, better products and more
sustainable consumption.
o This approach would promote the integration of SCP into horizontal strategies at all
levels, thereby connecting SCP to social development goals, including the MDGs.
o To implement these goals in such a way that the benefits of strong early action outweigh
the costs of inaction in the long run, governments should take the lead in creating an
enabling environment for sustainable solutions.
o I would also highlight, in my last point on our preliminary approach, that our future
work on SCP should be supported by a globally recognized, credible and coherent
science base capable of creating a strong science-policy interface, in particular with the
work of the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management.
? The EU has made progress in such matters outlined above and we have learned a number of
lessons from our experiences in this domain. Some of these are the following:
o On production and supply chains, Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control defines a
regulatory framework at the EU level for permitting and controlling industrial
o In addition, Corporate Social Responsibility action plans adopted in several Member
States encourage business to promote sustainable production processes through
voluntary actions.
o The EU has legislation for the Eco-design of energy-using and energy-related products
aiming at producing more eco-efficient products
o Legislation exists also on Sustainable (green and social) Public Procurement in order to
increase the public consumption of products as well as opportunities for decent job
creation while a strong link is being made with labelling and eco-design.
o Education guidelines and toolkits, such as the one developed by the Task Force on
Education for Sustainable Consumption of the EU online consumer education tool called
Dolceta, have been elaborated to introduce sustainable consumption into formal learning
o A Retail Forum was set up recently engaging retailers at the EU level to work together
and with other stakeholders and the Commission at concrete actions in favour of
sustainable consumption.
o For long term growth and development strategies, the SCP/SIP Action plan is the main
example of mainstreaming SCP in EU domestic policy.
o The new EU 2020 strategy with its key priorities, i.e. knowledge and innovation, a more
sustainable economy, high employment and social inclusion will bring this forward.
o SCP policies have also been integrated into national and sub-national SD strategies,
including Agendas 21 at local levels.
o Beyond its border, the EU has also supported SCP through bilateral trade agreements
and various programmes, such as the 90 million Euros SWITCH Programme targeting
SMEs in Asia.
? Based on our experience, the following challenges to Sustainable Consumption and Production
deserve to be highlighted:
? The lack of integration across the whole lifecycle, the need of ?absolute decoupling? and of
synergies in the interdependent components of sustainable development, in particular in
sustainable trade strategies and CSR.
? The need to evaluate and internalise external short and long term costs in terms of human and
environmental resources
? The lack of demand side management and instruments addressing consumption levels
? the fragmentation of existing strategies and approaches, the lack of coherence among existing
policy instruments targeting the same areas and finally the lack of capacity building and
knowledge transfer systems.
? As a crucial element in this year?s review of best practices and challenges, we underline the
importance of meaningful review and follow-up arrangements for SCP.
? To embed the SCP firmly in UN-structures, Governments could consider what role each UN
body could play in the follow-up and implementation of 10YFP in social, environmental and
economic areas. In addition, the EU would like to emphasize the encouraging results obtained
from the Marrakech Process (MP), reflected in the information document distributed for this
? The EU has also contributed to this process, including through the work of international
Marrakech Task Forces in close cooperation with partners from other regions of the world. The
MP has demonstrated its potential to promote progress on SCP worldwide. A continued and
strengthened MP, with its variety of actors and events such as NGO and Business Fora and
National and Regional meetings could represent an effective tool to support the implementation
of the 10YFP and should be utilized in the future as well.