United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


7 May 2014

Swedish statement at OWG 11 on Focus Area 7 on Energy and Focus Area 8 on Sustainable Inclusive Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Employment¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

On Focus Area 7: Energy

We support the African group and others that have suggested that we explicitly should speak of ensuring universal access for men and women in target a).

We strongly support the inclusion of target e). Subsidies harmful for the environment such as for example fossil fuel subsidies are widespread. The global cost of fossil-fuel subsidies increased to $544 billion in 2012 despite efforts at reform. In comparison, financial support to renewable sources
of energy totaled $101 billion. Fossil fuels already have a competitive- and cost advantage over renewable energy. This is augmented by the subsidies to fossil fuels. Such subsidies therefore should be phased out as an important and cost-effective measure against climate change.

On Focus Area 8: Economic growth, employment and infrastructure

First, we want to express our appreciation for the goal formulation; to promote sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth and decent jobs for all. Second we feel there is still a need for a better balance to reflect the three dimensions of sustainability, especially on environmental issues.

We believe that focus area 8 still lacks targets that can ensure economic growth is socially and environmentally sustainable. All three dimensions must be integrated also under this goal. For example, it is vital that the right enabling conditions are provided to generate and stimulate public and private sector investments that incorporate broader environmental and social criteria. A strong link to sustainable consumption and production should be made. We would suggest the addition of the following target:

“by 2030, x % of economic activities promote sustainable consumption and production patterns including through a product life cycle approach”.

We support CARICOM on including a target on alternative measures to national accounting that take into account for example the value of biodiversity and ecosystems. The current measure does not tell us whether income and growth are sustainable. Incorporating natural capital into national accounts can support better decisions for inclusive, sustainable development.

Like Canada, we support the inclusion of a target on women’s economic empowerment. We propose the following target:

"Promote women’s full and equal participation in the formal economy, through strengthening their productive capacities and providing them with equal access to financial services, infrastructure and equal employment opportunities." This target would also link to Focus Area 5.

In addition, we want to integrate gender equality into target b) which we propose will be formulated as follows: “Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men including for marginalized groups by 2030”.

The importance for private investments and business of clear rules of the game and strong institutions cannot be overemphasized. Rule of law, effective, accountable and transparent institutions are key in this regard. Proposed targets under Focus Area 16 will also contribute to this Focus Area.

We would like to see an addition under target e) on access to markets. It would then read: “create an appropriate climate, including access to markets, for SMEs, entrepreneurship and innovation by 2020”.

In relation to target i) it should be noted that child labor takes many different forms and that the worst forms of child labor, as defined in international conventions, must be eliminated without delay.

Finally, we note that there are different ways of clustering the various issues covered by focus areas 7, 8, 9 and 10. We are flexible in this regard but could support lifting out infrastructure from focus area 8 and merge the related targets into a focus area on "Industrialization, infrastructure and sustainable human settlements”. This might be one way of making the number of targets under FA 8 a more manageable number.

Thank you Mr. Co-chair.