United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Italy, Spain and Turkey

UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
10th Session
3rd April 2014


Cluster 5: Sustainable cities and human settlements – Promote Sustainable
Consumption and Production – Climate

• Before entering into the details of the cluster’s architecture, we would like to make a general comment. We have found that the clustering of focal areas utilized so far has very much helped us to capture the many synergies existing among different fundamental aspects of sustainable development. The cluster we have discussed yesterday is perhaps the best example. Cluster 5 however seems composed of focus areas that might have a better home elsewhere. SCP for instance encompasses the activities of transforming and utilizing the natural capital and resources to the material benefit of humankind and, in our view, it should be discussed either as the sustainable pillar of economic growth (Cluster 4) or as the sustainable solution to the utilization of the natural capital (Cluster 6).
• Likewise Climate, which is a planetary asset like the oceans or the tropical forests and like these, it is affected by human activities in a way which is not conducive to the preservation of life as we know it. The preservation of global climate therefore must become a key component of the development agenda, either as a pervasive cross cutting issue that shapes all human endeavours, or alternatively as a focus area per se to be incorporated into Cluster 6.
• The considerations that follow have to be seen in this light.
• The focus area 13 “Sustainable cities and human settlements” has been coherently developed according to a sustainability perspective. Item (a) can be further supported by indicating the upgrading of housing standards as well as providing better living areas. In item (b), by keeping in mind that transportation is not the only source of low air quality, we can add a separate target for air quality in cities such as reducing the air pollutants in cities. The subparagraph (f) on the enhancement of capacities of urban planning should be further developed by indicating specific planning principles. In particular, we would appreciate the inclusion of references to sustainable and integrated urban development plans based on participatory and inclusive processes. Moreover, we much appreciate the inclusion of subparagraph (j) on the protection and safeguarding of the cultural and natural heritage. Since cities are built environment, a reference to sustainable buildings could be made as separate target, for example deploying sustainable building standards by 2018 and begin to apply them in newly built areas.

• In the focus area 14 “Sustainable consumption and production” we suggest to use the same wording as in paragraph 1(a) of the 10YFP adopted at the Rio+20 conference as it condenses similar concepts in a better way. As for the subparagraph on the MoI, we suggest to avoid any duplication as this item is already included as a package in the 10YFP.

• Moreover, we suggest that appropriate targets are identified in the following areas:
 Development of policies and instruments as business opportunity for stimulating green production and services;
• Concerning the focus area 15, we appreciate the reference to potential overlapping with the work being carried out under the UNFCCC process. The actions defined under this focus area should be broadened as well as mainstreamed under all relevant focus areas and the narrative regarding the identification and implementation of context driven policies and strategies for adaptation to climate change could be added whenever relevant to the focal area under consideration. The need for fair, inclusive and effective climate regime for sustainable development can be further emphasized.