BASD comments on zero draft


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BASD comments on zero draft

  1. 1. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY MAJOR GROUP COMMENTS TO ZERO DRAFT MARCH INTER SESSIONAL MEETINGS The private sector has a key role to play in helping to achieve the goals of sustainable development, in particular poverty eradication. This fact is noted in paragraph 19 of “The Future We Want”. The private sector generates most of the goods and services that are utilized every day and therefore must be actively engaged to address the implementation gaps that have limited achievements of the sustainable development goals. Business and Industry is pleased to submit the following comments on the zero draft text for the consideration of member states.Para 18We recognize that improved participation of civil society depends upon strengthening the right to accessinformation and building civil society capacity to exercise this right, ADD: bearing in mind the need to balancethe right to access to information and balanced with the right of protection of personal data and IntellectualProperty Rights [alternatively to IPR refer to: the right to own property and to be compensated for inventions].Technology is making it easier for Governments to share information with the public and for the public to holddecision makers accountable. In this regard, it is essential to work towards universal access to informationand communications technologies. Business supports the principle of public access to information, however the application of the principleneeds to be done in such a way that it balances the need to support innovation and protect IPRs with thebenefits of access information. It is also important to consider how data is accessed and information shared -data can easily be misinterpreted when stripped out of contextPara 24We call for [DELETE a global policy framework requiring all listed and large private companies to considersustainability issues]ALT: increased participation of companies as well as other stakeholders such as localauthorities in voluntary sustainability reporting schemes and to integrate sustainability information within thereporting cycle. Compulsory CSR disclosure is difficult to achieve and unlikely to encourage more genuine transparency, inaddition to being a lengthy and costly process to establish. It also risks creating an unfair playing field forcompanies or different countries. There are many voluntary mechanisms which have been created that couldbe supported and expanded. The specific focus on ‘large’ companies is not justified and what constitute ‘large’would need to be defined. Also if disclosure is so important, why should it only be businesses? (and not localgovernments etc).Para 26We view the green economy as a means to achieve sustainable development, which must remain ouroverarching goal. We acknowledge that a green economy in the context of sustainable development andpoverty eradication should protect and enhance the natural resource base, increase resource efficiency,promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, and move the world toward low-carbondevelopment. ADD: In this regard, the following core items describe the high level system conditionsthat are required to transition towards a green economy, from both business and governments:Social innovation 1. Awareness 2. Education and skills 3. Employment; Environment innovation4.Resource efficiency and decoupling 5. Life cycle approach; Economic innovation 6. Open andcompetitive markets 7. Metrics, accounting, and reporting 8. Finance and investment; Mutuallyenforcing cross-cutting elements 9. Integrated environmental, social and economic policy anddecision making and 10. Governance and partnerships.
  2. 2. BASD page 7Para 27We underscore that green economy is not intended as a rigid set of rules but rather as a decision-makingframework to foster integrated consideration of the three pillars of sustainable development in all relevantdomains of public and private decision-making This is valid and needs to be better reflected in other parts of the text, in particular #74Para 31We note that the transformation to a green economy should be an opportunity to all countries and a threat tonone. We therefore resolve that international efforts to help countries build a green economy in the context ofsustainable development and poverty eradication must not: a) Create new trade barriers; b) Impose new conditionalities on aid and finance; c) [DELETE Widen technology gaps or exacerbate technological dependence of developing countries on developed countries]ALT: Undermine countries’ ability to invest in research and development, adoption, deployment, and diffusion of technology d) Restrict the policy space for countries to pursue their own paths to sustainable development. This is potentially problematic language that could open the door to argument for special measures onIPRs. Focusing on what is needed to foster innovation and adoption of technologies needs to be broader thana focus on ‘obstacles’ interpreted as IPR barriers.Para 40We strongly encourage business and industry – [DEL organized by industrial sectors,] cooperating acrosscountries and in consultation with governments, workers and trade unions and other stakeholders – todevelop green economy roadmaps [DEL for their respective sectors,] ADD: along supply and value chains,taking into account the potential for synergies within each sector, with concrete goals and benchmarks ofprogress, including for net creation of jobs. While the notion of improving mechanisms for sector-wide learning and progress is valuable, it would bedifficult for most sectors to establish joint roadmaps for several reasons: anti-trust and other regulations limitcommon goal setting and other similar activities; most companies and industries work not so much as a sectoras much as part of a value chain. Additionally, many sectors do not operate on a national basis and settingglobal goals for one sector would be extremely difficult, in particular given the variety of situation andcircumstances. Value chain, supply chain and lifecycle approaches may be more realistic and productive wayto approach sustainability improvementsPara 42We realize that to make significant progress towards building green economies will require new investments,new skills formation, [DEL technology development, transfer and access],ALT [based on UNFCCC agreeddefinition of technology transfer] enhanced research and development, demonstration, deployment, diffusionand transfer of technology (hereinafter referred as technology development and transfer)and capacity buildingin all countries. We acknowledge the particular need to provide support to developing countries in this regardand agree: a) To provide new, additional and scaled up sources of financing to developing countries; b) To launch an international process to promote the role of innovative instruments of finance for building green economies; c) To gradually eliminate subsidies that have considerable negative effects on the environment and are incompatible with sustainable development, complemented with measures to protect poor and vulnerable groups; d) [DELETE: To facilitate international collaborative research on green technologies involving developing countries, ensuring the technologies so developed remain in the public domain and
  3. 3. BASD page 7 are accessible to developing countries at affordable prices; ]ALT: [using language from the agreed UNFCCC AWG LCA text on technology transfer as the reference]: Promote and enhance national and international cooperative action to facilitate research, development and demonstration of new technologies which are required to meet the key objectives of sustainable development; e) ADD: Support and complement the work under way in the UNFCCC through the creation of the Climate Change Technology Center and Network and encourage creation of ADD additional Centres of Excellence as nodal points for green technology R&D where needed; The notion of technology transfer tends to be framed is a limitative manner which only focuses on transferNorth to South and ‘barrier’s, rather than the capacity to innovate, the underlying conditions needed tofacilitate deployment and adoption, as well as the importance of developing predictable regulatory frameworksand good governance to attract investment both local and foreign. The suggestion of the Centers of Excellence risks being duplicative of what is going on under UNFCCC.Greater clarity on how coherence with activities under other UN conventions should be achieved would isnecessary.Para 43We recognize the importance of measuring global progress. In this regard, we will be guided by a roadmapthat contains the following indicative goals and timeline: a) 2012~2015: establishment of indicators and measures to evaluate implementation; [DEL:establishment of mechanisms for the transfer of technology],ALT: commit to supporting the work of the Technology Mechanism established under UNFCCC to facilitate research, development, and deployment of technologies, as well as that of other similar mechanisms and programmes b) sharing of know-how, and enhancement of capacities; c) 2015~2030: implementation and periodic assessment of progress; d) 2030: comprehensive assessment of progress. This also seems duplicative of work done under UNFCCC and is narrowly focused on transfer onlyPara 64We reaffirm the right to food and call upon all States to prioritize sustainable intensification of food productionthrough increased investment in [DEL local] food production, [ADD research/ R&D/ innovation] improvedaccess to local and global agri-food markets, and reduced waste throughout the supply chain, with specialattention to women, smallholders, youth, and indigenous farmers. We are committed to ensuring propernutrition for our people. Welcome the introduction of ‘sustainable intensification’ but focus only on local food production is limitative.In addition, it contradicts with #65, which calls for “open trading system”. We believe that open trade inagricultural goods is important to guarantee food security. The multi-agency report that was prepared for theG20 Agricultural Ministerial clearly demonstrated that the food crisis in 2007/08 was worsened by barriersimposed on the trade of agricultural inputs and goods.Para 66:We further support initiatives at all levels that improve access to information, enhance interactions amongfarmers and experts through education and extension services, and increase the use of appropriatetechnologies for sustainable agriculture. ADD: We specifically call on all actors to increase support foragricultural knowledge systems including research, advisory services, vocational training, and farmer-to-farmer training. language on knowledge sharing is welcome as a fundamental element to any sustainable agriculturaldevelopment strategy; specific commitments in that direction would be useful
  4. 4. BASD page 7SUGGEST ADDING key reference text from CSD 17 clause 2 and partial clause 8 such as:64 bis Boosting agricultural productivity, improving soil quality, ensuring the safety of food and, asappropriate, enhancing the nutritional quality of food is essential and needs to be done in ways that aresocially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, a comprehensive approach integratingpost-harvest storage and processing to reduce losses and add value, distribution and marketing infrastructureto link to markets and capacity building at all stages, particularly in developing countries, is needed. Farmersand farm workers, female and male, especially small, and resource-poor, indigenous people and ruralcommunities, need to be central actors in a green revolution in a sustainable way, with a sound balance andmutually beneficial linkages among small- and large-scale agricultural enterprises.64 tre: A healthy and dynamic agricultural sector is an important foundation of rural development, generatingstrong linkages to other economic sectors. Rural livelihoods are enhanced through effective participation ofrural people and rural communities in the management of their own social, economic and environmentalobjectives by empowering people in rural areas, particularly women and youth, including throughorganizations such as local cooperatives and by applying the bottom-up approach.Para 68We recognize the necessity of setting goals for wastewater management, including reducing waterpollution//[ADD others, such as mining OR DELETE ALL]from households, industrial, and agricultural sourcesand promoting water efficiency, wastewater treatment and the use of treated wastewater as a resource,particularly in expanding urban areas Either all sources of pollution should be mentioned or none. Agricultural sources do not constitute the majorsource and a lot of other sources could be included.Para 74We also recognize that significant job creation opportunities can be availed through investments in publicworks for restoration and enhancement of natural capital ADD and degraded land, sustainable land and watermanagement practices, [DEL family farming, ecological farming, organic production systems,] ALT: replaceby ‘Sustainable farming/agricultural systems, OR ADD other examples: ‘climate smart agriculture,conservation tillage, integrated farming, precision agriculture,sustainable forest management, rational use ofbiodiversity for economic purposes, and new markets linked to renewable and unconventional energysources. We encourage business and industry to contribute to green job creation throughout their globalsupply chains, including through support to small and medium enterprises. The narrow selection of the examples of farming systems is problematic. Either additional examples shouldbe included, or a broader term should be used, such as ‘sustainable farming/food production systems’. Thiswould be more consistent with the mention of sustainable intensification earlier on in the text which is muchbroader than the three types of farming cited here. As discussed under #27, the green economy is not meantto be a set of prescriptive rules or a blueprint. The reality of farming worldwide requires solutions adapted tothe diversity of scales, conditions, tools, techniques that best suit farmers wherever they are.Para 8989. We encourage international initiatives and partnerships to address the interrelationship among water,energy, food, ADD land use and climate change in order to achieve synergies as well as to minimize conflictsamong policy objectives, being particularly sensitive to impacts on vulnerable populations.Para 91We welcome the Nagoya Protocol adopted at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to theConvention on Biodiversity. We support mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services in policies anddecision-making processes ADD through positive incentive mechanisms at international, regional and national
  5. 5. BASD page 7levels, and encourage investments in natural capital ADD that balance food security needs and environmentalimpacts through appropriate incentives and policies, which support a sustainable and equitable use ofbiological diversity and ecosystems. it is important to emphasize that systems for ecosystem services should be based on an incentive system(rather than a penalty system) which would enable farmers to positively contribute and which do not createnegative incentives to diminish food production. With regards to biodiversity, adopting landscape approachesto understanding benefits and tradeoffs is a more realistic way of assessing issues and allows weighing thedifferent roles and goals of agriculture in a more thorough and holistic way; instead the focus at field level failsto take into account the environment in which farms exist and the dynamics of farm relationships to thatenvironment.Para 92-93We recognize the economic and social significance of land, particularly its contribution to growth, foodsecurity, and poverty eradication, and note that the intensity of desertification of most of Africa’s arable land isa serious challenge to sustainable development in the region. We call for enhanced support by theinternational community to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD).We agree to support partnerships and initiatives for the safeguarding of soil resources such as the Global SoilPartnership (GSP). ADD: we recognize the important role of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) inproviding appropriate techniques to farmers facing depleted soils, and encourage supporting thedissemination of these best practices.We also encourage scientific studies and initiatives aimed at raising wider awareness of the economicbenefits of sustainable land management policies that achieve healthy and productive land and soil. Recognition and action on land degradation and desertification should be a priority. We would recommendthat a reference be made to the important role of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) in providingappropriate techniques to farmers facing depleted soils, in particular in Africa.Para 95We call for strengthening the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), to ADD:achieve DEL:step up efforts towards a more robust, coherent, effective and efficient international regime forADD: the sound management of chemicals throughout their lifecycle ADD: so that by 2020 chemicals areused and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health andthe environment. Sustainable and adequate long-term funding will be important to assist developing countrieswith sound chemical and waste management through an integrated approach.Para 96We commend the increased coordination and cooperation among the Basel Convention, the RotterdamConvention and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and call for public-privatepartnerships aiming to enhance capacity and technology for environmentally sound waste management. Wealso note DEL: with concern the emerging challenges of ADD: used and obsolete electronics and call forcontinued support of the Basel Convention activity on used and obsolete electronics, including implementationof the technical guidelines for the sound refurbishment and end of life management of electronics under theBasel Convention Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE). We further note the emergingchallenge of plastics in the marine environment, which should be addressed inter alia through appropriateprogrammes and environmentally sound technologies for material and energy recovery.… The chemical industry supports efforts made through SAICM, but we are concerned that the wording ofthese paragraphs suggests SAICM should be transformed into a global and unique chemical regime, whichwe do not see as a constructive way forward. Strengthening the SAICM process is more helpful.
  6. 6. BASD page 7Para 105We recognize that goals, targets and milestones are essential for measuring and accelerating progresstowards sustainable development and agree to launch an inclusive process to devise by 2015:a set of globalSustainable Development Goals that reflect an integrated and balanced treatment of the three dimensions ofsustainable development, are consistent with the principles of Agenda 21, and are universal and applicable toall countries but allowing for differentiated approaches among countries. ADD: the process shall consider theresources that would be needed to meet and report on the SDGs and possible trade offs in achieving currentgoals to ensure any new goal adds synergies to existing efforts. ADD: The Sustainable Development Goalsshould reflect the balance of the three pillars of development and be focused on measuring the outcomes ofefforts, not the processes. Goals should focus on outcomes (such as food security) rather than processes and ensure that the balanceof social/economic/environment that is core to the concept of sustainability is reflected, without undue biastowards measuring one of the three pillars. This could results in setting perverse incentives in programmesand policies.Para 106We invite all stakeholders to join this process and request the UN Secretary-General to coordinate thisprocess. ADD: We recognize the important role of Major groups in moving the sustainable developmentagenda forward. We also acknowledge the critical role of the private sector to make practical and substantialcontributions to sustainable development and multilateral processes. In this regard, we welcome a moremeaningful engagement of the private sector in these processes and call for the development of a roadmap(with timeline) that would define the enhanced role of the private sector.Para 107We propose that the Sustainable Development Goals should include sustainable consumption and productionpatterns as well as priority areas such as oceans; food security[DEL and sustainable agriculture]; sustainableenergy for all; water access and efficiency; sustainable cities; green jobs, decent work and social inclusion;and disaster risk reduction and resilience. Defining sustainable agriculture for the purpose of a Goal could be very limitative and will strain to representthe variety of farming methods and context around the world. Food security is the outcome of agriculture andshould be the focus.Para 116We reaffirm the key role of the private sector in promoting sustainable development including through multi-stakeholder partnerships. Public policy should create a stable investment climate and regulatory frameworkconducive to long-term investment and ADD: public-private collaborations to further positive social andenvironmental impacts. [DELETE socially and environmentally responsible behaviour by business andindustry. ] PPPs are potentially one of the best technology transfer systems. It is very clear that policies should help tocreate an enabling environment for innovation and diffusion and which support collaborations.Para 119We recognize the importance of strengthening the scientific, technological and innovation capacities ofcountries to promote sustainable development. In this regard, we stress the need for effective mechanisms,enhanced means, appropriate enabling environments, ADD enhanced actions to facilitate[DELETE removal ofobstacles to] the scaling up of the development and transfer of technology to developing countries ADD aswell as local innovation and development capacity Once again, this appears to narrow down the discussion on technology transfer to ‘barriers’ when it is clearfrom experience that many elements contribute to successful technology development and deployment. Inparticular, more focus on how to develop local talent and local innovation capability is necessary
  7. 7. BASD page 7120. We agree to strengthen international cooperation conducive to investment and technology transfer,development and diffusion.ADD:120 (bis). We recognize the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in enabling the greeneconomy and providing the intelligent products that support solutions in the areas of water resources, energyefficiency, sustainable cities, sustainable biodiversity and ecosystems and education. We call for policyactions that encourage the development and deployment of ICT-enabled solutions to achieve sustainabledevelopment goals.