United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Sweden

Swedish statement at OWG VII on Sustainable Consumption and Production including Chemicals and Waste, 8 January 2014
Mr. Co-Chair,
I associate myself with the statement by the European Union.
Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is a universal concept that has clear linkages to all three dimensions of sustainable development and should as such be considered as one essential element of the goals for sustainable development.
There are a number of challenges resulting from unsustainable consumption and production that impede poverty eradication and affect human wellbeing. One example is food loss and waste. Every day food is harvested that could feed every person on the planet about two times over, but only half of it is eaten. The rest is lost on the way. Switching to more sustainable consumption and production contributes not only to food security, but also to economic growth and reduced pressure on vital ecosystems that provide us with clean air, clean water and the natural resources we need for our survival.
Achieving SCP will require a mix of policy instruments: economic instruments, information, inclusive education as well as legislation. Important components are the phasing out of environmentally harmful subsidies and internalization of external costs. It also requires new technology and innovation, a supportive infrastructure and community planning that facilitates sustainable behavior among citizens as well as business.
The interlinkages between SCP and chemicals and waste are key. The Future We Want recognised that sound management of chemicals is crucial for the protection of human health and the environment Chemicals allow us to live a richer life but they can also pose severe negative impacts on human health and environment. Individuals living in poverty, workers, fertile women, as well as infants and children are
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Sweden
Ambassador
Anna Brandt
2
among those most vulnerable and susceptible to the toxic effects of chemicals.
There are strong links not only between sound chemicals management and sustainable consumption and production, but also to other issues on the agenda of the Open Working Group. Areas such as health and access to clean water are two of many examples where improved management of chemicals is needed to prevent significant and increasingly complex risks to human health and the environment. Such inter-linkages need to be recognized and it is essential that the future framework of goals for sustainable development take a comprehensive approach and encompasses also the sound management of chemicals and waste where appropriate.
Establishing systems for sustainable waste management and effective natural resource management represents a major challenge given rising levels of consumption and cross-border global trade. Experience shows that the most effective way of reducing resource consumption and environmental impact is to prevent the waste from being generated in the first place. Sound management of chemicals and waste is thus one important precondition for achieving sustainable development.
We believe that shifting to SCP including chemicals and waste will contribute to sustainable development including a circular green economy where waste is used as a resource; it will provide new business ideas and decent jobs; and help ensure the use of natural resources within planetary boundaries. Taken together it will bring around a better future for all and a future we want.
Thank you.
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