Throughout Wednesday, CSD 19 Working Groups 1 and 2 convened to continue addressing issues in the Chair’s negotiating text. In the morning, Working Group 1 took up cross-cutting issues, and Working Group 2 discussed waste management. In the afternoon, Working Group 1 addressed the text on transport, while Working Group 2 continued the second reading from Tuesday on the 10YFP. Delegates also participated in a Learning Center, Partnerships Fair and various side events.
WORKING GROUP 1
CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES: On Wednesday morning, Vice-Chair Silvano Vergara Vásquez (Panama) initiated the first reading on interlinkages and cross-cutting issues, including means of implementation.
Algeria, for the G-77/CHINA, emphasized that interlinkages take into account economic, social and environmental aspects as identified in CSD 11 and the global economic, food, energy pricing and climate change crises. The US proposed that implementation measures could be both regulatory and voluntary, and the G-77/CHINA underscored they should be transparent. The US questioned emphasizing only the MDG on poverty eradication since it is an overarching objective of sustainable development, while the G-77/CHINA reiterated that the theme was identified in CSD 11.
On development strategies, the EU emphasized transition to green economies and responsible business models and the G-77/CHINA urged enhanced inter-ministerial coordination.
On convergence of the three pillars of sustainable development, ISRAEL called for incorporating a sustainable materials management approach. The G-77/CHINA highlighted that developed countries should take the lead in: improving finance; strengthening public health systems to address diseases related to waste; supporting the most vulnerable groups and disaster risk reduction; and formulating policies in accordance with national frameworks. MEXICO and the EU emphasized best practices for information-sharing.
On resource management, the G-77/CHINA objected to singling out protection of particular natural resources, and SWITZERLAND suggested mentioning the precautionary principle. The G-77/CHINA supported enhancing efforts to mobilize adequate and predictable high-quality technological support “crucial” for achieving the MDGs, and underscored the importance of traditional knowledge. The US suggested use of social media and other forms of information and communication technology “as appropriate.”
On finance for sustainable development, the G-77/CHINA proposed new text on enhancing assistance to developing countries by the UN system, development institutions and regional banks. The US, supported by CANADA, proposed deleting text on fulfillment of all ODA commitments. The G-77/CHINA proposed replacing current text on trade with new language on access to an equitable, universal, non-discriminatory trade system, which takes into account the right of developing countries to take legitimate trade defensive measures. She also supported delivery of focused support to SIDS. The US and CANADA noted the text on review of implementation of CSD 19 decisions is unclear.
TRANSPORT: Facilitated by Eduardo Meñez (the Philippines), the Working Group proceeded to the second reading of the section on transport, with delegates offering explanations of the amendments sent directly to the Chair the previous day.
In the chapeau, the EU inserted “sustainable” in front of “transportation” in several places. Delegates agreed on a G-77/CHINA proposal that sustainability of transport have a business perspective, but also meet environmental and social needs. The G-77/CHINA and the EU deferred approving US language on “place-based needs,” pending clarification.
The G-77/CHINA asked to delete all references to green economy, which is a concept that has not been agreed upon. The US suggested bilateral discussions with the G-77/CHINA on language optimizing modal choices for passengers and goods logistics. Three paragraphs authored by the G-77/CHINA (on special transportation needs of LLDCs, SIDS and African countries) remained bracketed by the US, CANADA and EU, although there was understanding that part of the substance contained therein could be reflected in other sections.
On urbanization and private motorization, the US, with the EU, emphasized transportation’s impact on energy security and public health, and supported text encouraging reducing use of private cars. Regarding second-hand vehicles, the G-77/CHINA responded to the request by the EU, CANADA and the US to delete reference to the issue by underlining they are a necessity in some developing countries. The EU noted that the issue is referenced in the section on developing and improving transport technologies. The EU and US also moved to delete proposed text on the role of the automotive industry.
On climate change mitigation, the G-77/CHINA stated it was an issue addressed elsewhere and therefore unnecessary, while the US proposed amendments specifying that transportation policy meet “commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” to make the text more useful. The EU supported text focusing on the impacts on pollution while the US supported a focus on energy security.
On investments, delegates agreed on the importance of ensuring accessibility to disabled persons, with the G-77/CHINA and the US preferring an independent section on the issue. The EU, with the US, requested moving text on international financial and technical support to the section on means of implementation. CHILDREN AND YOUTH highlighted that transportation is directly linked to adequate education.
WORKING GROUP 2
WASTE MANAGEMENT: On Wednesday morning, Vice-Chair Abdelghani Merabet (Algeria) facilitated the continued first reading of the text on waste management.
On environmentally sound waste reduction, reuse and recycling, the EU said the text should reflect order of priority, and focus more on prevention and minimization, and the G-77/CHINA asked for preferential terms for the provision to developing countries of zero-waste technologies.
On implementing effective e-waste and hazardous waste strategies: the EU sought additional language on e-waste, medical wastes, and references to INTERPOL activities; MEXICO highlighted the Basel Convention Secretariat’s technical guidelines; and the US underscored meaningful public participation in policy development and implementation.
On specific waste streams, the G-77/CHINA proposed adding plastic pollution, SWITZERLAND proposed food waste, CANADA added pesticide containers, and ISRAEL sought construction and demolition wastes. The US and Canada proposed deleting agricultural biomass. The G-77/CHINA called for targets to eliminate the use of plastic products in the retail sector, and CANADA proposed guidelines instead of targets for reducing quantities of biodegradable wastes in landfills. NORWAY suggested strengthening policies to reduce food waste and improving markets for products developed using agricultural waste management technology, such as for designer fertilizers.
The G-77/CHINA submitted texts on supporting the initiative of the UNEP Executive Director on a consultative process to identify financing options for the chemicals and waste agenda, and the need to develop secure financial instruments to raise funds for waste management.
SWITZERLAND suggested text endorsing the Basel Convention Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative and the Basel Convention Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment. The EU proposed defining regulations for bio-wastes including targets for reducing bio-wastes. The US supported encouraging creation of platforms for facilitating communication between governments, technology providers and recipients.
Facilitator Merabet suggested commencing the second reading of the text with the chapeau paragraph on intersessional meetings, but the G-77/CHINA and US indicated they needed more time to consider their positions. Delegations explained their proposals for the paragraph on challenges and indicated where they might be flexible. Merabet then sought to discuss in tandem different G-77/CHINA, EU and NORWAY proposals addressing linkages with SCP and other issues, including chemicals. Delegates agreed to consider merging the three.
When discussing new waste streams, the G-77/CHINA made a reference to non-biodegradable waste, about which the US asked for clarification. The US and EU preferred referring to waste or materials generally, rather than “new waste streams.”
Regarding the proposal made by G-77/CHINA emphasizing that the decoupling of waste generation be supported through financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building, the US preferred considering it under means of implementation.
The Working Group reached consensus on several paragraphs referring to, inter alia, the negative impacts of wastes on the environment and health, and the crucial role of waste management for sustainable development, poverty eradication and other MDGs.
10YFP: In the afternoon, the Working Group resumed its second reading of the 10YFP text, facilitated by Vice-Chair Andrew Goledzinowski (Australia).
In discussions delegates agreed to: the G-77/CHINA proposals referring to Chapter III of the JPOI on changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production and having the 10YFP vision “based on,” rather than “inspired by” Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration and the JPOI; and a US proposal to delete text on the aim of the 10YFP.
The G-77 objected to the EU’s proposal on harmful environmental and social impacts of the whole lifecycle of products and materials.
In reference to promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, the US opposed “developed countries taking the lead” and a proposal by the G-77/CHINA on respecting their international commitments, particularly with regard to trade and investment. Together with Canada and New Zealand, the US preferred removing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, noting it is not appropriate to single out one Rio principle in this context.
The EU proposed text supporting the implementation of global sustainable development commitments, the achievement of the MDGs and the implementation of relevant MEAs. No agreement was reached on the paragraph.
Regarding the 10YFP vision, delegates agreed only on minor language changes, deferring points of contention until later. Goledzinowski encouraged the EU to engage other delegations outside the room to find compromises on, inter alia: what language to include from JPOI paragraph 15; references to international initiatives; social cohesion and protection; market opportunities; and a global alliance on SCP patterns. Decisions were also deferred on new proposals by the G-77/CHINA on financial and technological support, and ISRAEL on government programs, green procurement, green labeling and practicing SCP within government bodies.
The G-77/CHINA proposed text on ensuring a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, taking into account the right of the developing countries to use legitimate trade defense measures in accordance with relevant provisions of the WTO. The US and New Zealand objected to the proposal.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH appealed for quick development and implementation of the 10YFP, while BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY said that the 10YFP should be a collaborative process involving all the stakeholders, and a flexible and living concept.
IN THE CORRIDORS
As the third day of negotiations commenced on the 10YFP on SCP, delegates remained greatly interested in its means of implementation and the contention specific issues were generating. Several developing country representatives said that if 10YFP is going to be successful, new and additional financial resources have to be found. The G-77/CHINA is proposing establishment of a trust fund for the 10YFP, but developed countries remained skeptical. Several developed country representatives made it very clear that they support making use of existing financial resources and mechanisms, but did not clarify what such resources and mechanisms are. As one government representative said, “It is not possible for us to consider a new fund.” Another emphasized, “Our government is cutting its budget, and we are not in a position to make new commitments on financing.” One observer concluded that "financing is going to be a big challenge facing the CSD in the development and implementation of 10YFP.” Yet another opined that “the big news here is that there will be a 10YFP: this time last year it was very much in doubt.”