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Intersessional Ad Hoc Working Groups of the Ninth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

UN Headquarters, New York
6-16 March 2001                                                                                           

 

Web archives:
|Tuesday 6| Wednesday 7| Thursday 8 | Friday 9 |
| Monday 12| Tuesday 13| Wednesday 14| Thursday 15| Friday 16

   

Highlights from Thursday, 8 March

The CSD-9 Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Transport and Atmosphere met in the General Assembly Hall in the morning to continue discussing the Co-Chairs' summary of the discussion on transport and the document containing possible elements for inclusion in a Draft Decision. . In an afternoon session, delegates began consideration of the Co-Chairs' elements for a draft decision on the protection of the atmosphere.

Above photo: the dias in the General Assembly Hall

Click here for coverage of the NGO statements

ENB Coverage of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development met in New York from 26 February to 2 March 2001

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CSD-9 Vice-Chairs David Stuart (Australia) and Daudi Taliwaku (Uganda)
Co-Chair Taliwaku with Alexander de Barros, Secretariat (left) and with CSD-9 President Bedrich Molden
The General Assembly Hall
NGO Statements

Noting that gender inequity in transport is a global problem, the Women's Caucus stressed the need to: revise the definition and understanding of mobility needs to reflect women's lives and responsibilities; integrate gender impact assessments into environmental impact assessments; focus on issues of over-consumption in developed countries as much as on creating equitable access to resources and services in developing countries; and support infrastructure for non-motorized transport and pedestrians.

The World Circle of the Consensus applauded the calls by Norway, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia for measures to address the pollution aspects of fossil fuels.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy noted that while access to basic mobility is critical, infrastructure provision alone is seldom an effective means of alleviating poverty and called for improvements in the transportation of the poor.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions highlighted the occupational and public aspects of transport safety and stressed the need to recognize and incorporate workers and workplaces into policy-making, planning and implementation.

Discussion of the Draft Decision and Co-Chairs' Summary on Transport

On International CooperationIran, on behalf of the G-77/China, called for inclusion of language from Agenda 21 on phasing out of lead in gasoline as soon as possible, with technological and economic assistance to allow countries to make such a transition. On recommendation at the national level, the Group proposed references to, inter alia: incentives "as affordable"; decision making "in the transport sector"; and transportation systems which "are responsive to development needs and where affordable." He called for deletion of reference to "promoting sustainability in the transport sector," and proposed replacing language on mitigating emissions from transport with text encouraging countries to take further steps towards developing environmentally sound technologies for transport.

ENB Managing Editor Kimo Goree and Felix Dodds, NGO Steering Committee
On recommendations at the national level, Australia, with Canada, Norway, Turkey and the US (right), warned against emphasizing one pillar of sustainable development over the others, and called for mutually reinforcing solutions.

With Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland and opposed by Saudi Arabia and G-77/China, she supported the elimination of lead in petroleum.

New Zealand in the GA Hall

The G-77/China stated that proposals deviating from agreed Rio+5 language, -including overemphasis of one of the three pillars of sustainable development, externalities or subsidies - would be unacceptable, as these incur unwarranted costs in developing countries. China concurred, stressing the need to consider country differences in their levels of development.

China in the GA Hall

ENB writer Wendy Jackson (left) with Iran (center)

The G-77/China said to achieve progress, it had provided agreed language on controversial issues, and stated that proposals deviating from agreed Rio+5 language, including an over emphasis of one of the three pillars of sustainable development, externalities or subsidies, would be unacceptable, as these incur unwarranted costs in developing countries.

Discussion of the Co-Chairs' Summary and possible elements for a Draft Decision on Atmosphere
In the afternoon, delegates were back in the ECOSOC Chamber
The EC (left) and India, Iran and Saudi Arabia (right) discussing the Co-Chairs' text on Atmosphere

On international cooperation, the G-77/China proposed new text on assisting developing countries to introduce cleaner fuels, on air pollution abatement technologies and on promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, particularly in developed countries. He said the private sector should be mentioned in promoting the transfer of cleaner or alternative fuels and other traffic management technologies. He also called for, inter alia, references to periodic and adequate replenishment of the Multilateral Fund and cost-effective, affordable and environmentally sound alternatives. The G-77/China also proposed including a paragraph calling on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to support active and more proportionate involvement of academics and experts from developing countries in the preparation of its reports.

On decisions and policy options, the G-77/China supported language taking into account the priority needs of developing countries for sustained economy and poverty eradication. He called for additional text on unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, equity and historical share in increasing urbanization, emigration to urban areas, the lack of financial and technological resources and the interdependency of transport and atmosphere. He also urged reference to, inter alia: impacts of natural disasters on human activity; developed countries having the greatest share in polluting emissions; and additional support by the international community. Opposed by Norway, he supported deleting a reference to the damage caused by air pollutants thousands of kilometers from the source.
 
On recommendations at the national level, the US supported the proposal to refer to improvement of data compilations, noting that the UNFCCC calls for establishment of emissions inventories.

Denmark and Australia look at text from Agenda 21 in discussing the Co-Chairs' text on Atmosphere

On international cooperation, Australia and the US stressed that decisions on the Multilateral Fund should be left to the relevant international bodies.

Jose Romero (Switzerland) on the left

On recommendations at the national level, Switzerland suggested further developing and implementing air quality strategies, including air quality indices, and stressed the need to identify and address the adverse effects of air pollution on human health, in particular on people living in poverty and disadvantaged groups. He suggested calling on governments to continue UNFCCC implementation.

CSD-9 President Bedrich Molden (Czech Republic) and Felix Dodds, NGO Steering Committee (right)


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