Panel Discussion on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Post-2015 Agenda

SCP2Mr. Hoballah introduced the importance of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the post-2015 development agenda. Mr. Patriota explained that sustainable development requires transforming consumption and production patterns. The the 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) should accelerate the shift towards SCP, which will promote a universal, transformative agenda that eradicates poverty in a sustained fashion. All countries must promote SCP and change behaviors and values to balance overconsuming nations with greater responsibilities. Sustainable development is about teaching future generations to cooperate internationally and be aware and respectful of diversity and humanity. SCP promotes development that is socially inclusive, economically viable, provides access to sanitation and health services, increases wages, and encourages gender equality. It must be embraced by civil society and the private sector in order  to support negotiations for the post-2015 agenda. The Permanent Representative of Finland discussed three aspects of SCP: to promote effective, efficient use of resources, to innovate, and to fulfill basic needs in a sustainable manner. The 10YFP is an important tool for implementing SCP, but it requires public and private financing; therefore, private incentives must be aligned with public goals. Mr. Hoballah discussed financing, policy, and targets of SCP, including contributions to climate mitigation. Mr. Ngculu addressed the importance of SCP to support 10YFP. Poverty remains the greatest challenge confronting developing countries. The 10YFP has a large role to play in post-2015 for Africa. Ms. Alfieri discussed national SCP policies and cited indicators as key instruments for implementing the post-2015 agenda. She also discussed SCP’s relationship to statistics and the environment. Ms. Riddlestone addressed civil society’s role in implementation and warned that the world is consuming 50% more resources than it can replenish. Ms. Henley discussed the private sector’s contribution to SCP and the 10YFP, focusing on generating industry action and sustainable building practice.

 

Meeting: Interactive panel discussion on “Sustainable Consumption and Production and the post-2015 development agenda: what needs to be implemented and measured” (co-organized by the Permanent Missions of Brazil and Finland, the secretariat of the 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP))
Date & Location: 18 February 2015.  Conference Room 11, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Speakers: Moderator Mr. Arab Hoballah, Chief of the Sustainable Lifestyles Cities and Industry Branch of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE); H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Kai Jürgen Mikael Sauer, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations; Ms. Alessandra Alfieri, Chief of Environmental-Economic Accounts Section, United Nations Statistics Division; Ms. Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Bioregional; and Ms. Jane Henley, CEO, World Green Building Council; Mr. Thembela Ngculu, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, and board member of the 10YFP Several National Representatives
Written by WIT Representative: Ellie Guner
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Consumer Information and Sustainable Consumption and Production

As part of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, a side event was held to discuss the availability of consumer information, and its impact on sustainable consumption and production (proposed goal 12 of the sustainable development goals). Beginning the meeting, the Vice-President of ECOSOC gave a statement on the launch of the Consumer Information Programme, which provides accurate information about the sustainability of various goods and services and helps to guide consumers towards more sustainable choices. By 2030, the global population of middle class consumers will increase by 2-3 billion people, putting more stress on the environment and natural resources, and making it vital for the world to consume more efficiently with less of an impact.

ImageFollowing, H.E. Mr. Thoms stated how sustainable consumption and production encompass all dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social, and environment), and that it’s important to inform consumers about sustainable consumption and production so they can direct their purchasing power towards more sustainable goods and services. Furthermore, Mr. Bastaman from Indonesia added that information about sustainable consumption and production is relatively new in developing countries, and that both the Indonesian government and business sectors are striving to provide more information to consumers.

Next, Dr. Jaeckel, Mr. Wardojo, and Mr. MacMullan gave presentations on the role of transparency and accountability for consumer information in achieving sustainable consumption and production. They highlighted that providing consumers with accurate and accountable information is a multi stakeholder task, which includes governments, NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, and the private sector. Consumers are mainly interested in a product’s cost, convenience, and if the product meets the consumer’s needs. However, ethical and moral questions of sustainability are becoming part of the equation. In order to raise sustainability on the consumer’s agenda, information about how the product is made must be provided in a clear and simple way, in order toencourage sustainable patterns of consumption.

 

Meeting Title: Consumer Information Programme Under the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Vladimi Drobnjak, Vice President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Permanent Representative of Crotia; H.E. Mr. Heiko Thoms, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany; Mr. Henry Bastaman, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia; Dr. Ulf D. Jaeckel, Head of Sustainable Consumer Production, Product-related Environmental Protection, Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Mr. Noer Adi Wardojo, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia; Mr. Justin MacMullan, Head of Advocacy, Consumer International
Date: 1 July 2014
Location: ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations HQ, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan