United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


11th Session of the OWG on SDGs
May 8, 2014
Statement on Focus Areas 11 & 12 by Amit Narang, Counsellor
Permanent Mission of India to the UN

Focus area 11
Sustainable Consumption and Production
Mr. Co-Chair,
At the outset, there needs to be an explicit recognition as part of this focus area that developed countries would take the lead on this issue. This is the mandate from Rio+20 and this rider would be essential to craft an agreeable approach on this issue.

This call is based on sound evidence base. We would like to recall some figures we had mentioned in our statement on this issue during the stock-taking phase. According to UN-DESA, the ecological footprint of developed countries seems to be rising at a faster pace than in developing countries. The per capita ecological footprint of developed countries went up by 39% between 1961 and 2007, while the ecological footprint of developing countries increased by 28%, which is the same as the global average.

We would like to propose the following additions under this Focus area with a view to enrich the contents so as to enable all member states to reap the benefits in fair and equitable manner:

 Reduce per capita energy consumption in developed countries by x% by 20xx
 Reduce per capita wastage of food at consumer level in developed countries by x% by 20xx
 Ensure the full and effective implementation of 10 FYP on SCP taking into account the need for developed countries to take the lead in the process
 Promote sound management of chemicals and hazardous materials in accordance with agreed international frameworks
 Reduce the average material intensity of consumption per capita in developed countries by xx% in 2030

Mr. Co-Chair,

We would also propose the following modifications in the elements contained under this Focus Area:

As the concepts under target (c) are not multilaterally defined, this target needs to be deleted.

In Target (d), the leadership of developed countries needs affirmation. In this light, this target could be modified to read as follows:

“By 2020, developed countries to implement policies to raise awareness for creating sustainable consumption and lifestyles”

Under Target (e) a similar affirmation for developed countries to lead needs to be added. It could then read as follows: “Developed countries to implement policies that promote sustainable consumption and production patterns including through a product life-cycle approach”

We do not agree with the inclusion of target (f) as currently drafted. Our approach on this needs to be based firmly on the multilaterally agreed formulation from para 47 on Rio+20. In case specific percentages etc are to be used, this needs to be restricted to developed countries taking the lead at this stage.

We propose that the following could be the means of implementation under this Focus Area:

 Provide financial and technological support as well as capacity building required to achieve SCP patterns in developing countries

 Assist developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacities to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Focus Area 12

Climate Change

Mr. Co-Chair,

Let me add our voice to those who have stressed that climate change is one of the most significant global challenges, which negatively impacts on the three pillars of sustainable development and above all on the development aspirations of the world’s poorest, even though they have contributed the least to the problem.

The question therefore is not whether we think this is an important issue of not. The question rather is as to what is the best way to address climate change as part of the SDGs. Particularly in the context of ongoing negotiations on this issue in the UNFCCC.

It is our view, and we in fact support the way this was articulated by the distinguished Ambassador from United States, that the best way to address climate change in this forum is to address the drivers of climate change under relevant goals, and not necessarily as a standalone goal.

Our objective of addressing this problem will also be helped if we are able to create enabling conditions and provide support to developing countries to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

We do not therefore favor a standalone goal on climate change and feel that it should be appropriately mainstreamed under relevant goals. Climate change can also be addressed in the narrative.

In fact, we found the suggestions made by CARICOM to move several of the proposed targets from this focus area to other proposed goals very helpful, even though some modifications in those specific targets may be needed.

It is also important to flag that no matter whether under a standalone goal or as mainstreamed under other goals, any reference to climate change must be accompanied with an explicit inclusion of the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC in particular equity, CBDR and RC.

Individual elements from UNFCCC decisions cannot be selected without taking into account the context in which those decisions were arrived at. The proposed target (a) on the temperature goal is a particular case in point and we do not agree to its inclusion in the SDGs.

This is important so as not to prejudice the positions of delegations under the ongoing negotiations in UNFCCC.

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair.