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8 January 2014 - Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals - "Sustainable consumption and production patterns and chemicals and waste in the Post-2015 Agenda" - Statement by Mr. Jean-Marc Chataigner, Deputy Director General for Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships, French Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Honorable co-chairs,
Your Excellencies,
Dear colleagues,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the constituency composed by Switzerland, Germany and France.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the UN task support team for their issue paper which enlightens us on the very fundamental issues of sustainable consumption and production patterns and chemical and waste.

Considering the demographics and the increasing demand of resources, Northern and Southern consumption and production patterns shatter our efforts to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, especially in the fields of energy, health, food security, water and sanitation and climate change. Head of States and Governments have therefore recognized SCP as one of the overarching objectives of sustainable development in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference.

The transition towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns will be crucial to allow the decoupling of economic growth and the use of resources and to ensure both protection of biodiversity and ecosystems and the promotion of an inclusive and equitable green economy.

Shaping the post-2015 agenda offers the unique opportunity to take into consideration the planetary boundaries and to use our resources more efficiently and less harmful to the environment. Integrating SCP in the goals we are hereby defining will also allow for a true conciliation of social progress, economic development and protection of the environment.

Seeking sustainability has indeed positive impacts on economic growth. Developing new consumption and production patterns leads to job creation, reduction of inequalities – one example is sustainable tourism, which links an equitable distribution of profits to a better protection of ecosystems –. It also stimulates innovation, technical progress, allows for the diversification of the offer and the invention of new production processes, all beneficial to the producers. SCP also implies renewed and diversified instruments – from initiatives involving local authorities and the civil society to the regulating instruments based on economic incentives –. A more circular economy would furthermore contribute to eliminate many costs related to losses in the value chain. Finally, renewing our economic models to make them more sustainable will allow for the transfer of innovating technologies to the less developed countries The crucial significance of SCP and the affiliated profits for our economies – both Northern as Southern economies – urge us to promote a more efficient use of resources and more sober and innovative consumption and production patterns. It seems therefore necessary, especially building on the 10YFP framework and the International Resource Panel’s researches, to fully integrate sustainable consumption and production in the various fields of development : energy, health, food security, but also water and sanitation, climate change and education, in order to make sustainability a basic key element of our economies.

That transversal and integrated approach should also be adopted when it comes to chemicals and waste management. Closely linked to each dimension of sustainability, it has to be better integrated in the various domains of sustainable development. Chemicals are to be found in almost each product we consume and is a major component of our modern life. However, chemicals and waste, unsufficiently regulated, greatly endanger environment and health, especially in the most vulnerable populations. Every year, millions of people become disabled because of their exposure to harmful chemicals. Achieving sound management of chemicals and waste, as stated in the JPOI and the Rio+20 outcome document– will be crucial to achieve sustainable development. Cross-cutting strategies based on risk prevention and reduction, the promotion of non chemical-alternatives and a more integrated approach to the issue of chemicals in the public policies should be considered as be useful elements to be integrated in the SDGs.

Sustainable consumption and production patterns including resource efficiency as well as the topics of chemicals and waste must feature prominently in the post-2015 agenda, in order to eradicate poverty and to reach a sustainable development. Thank you all for your attention.

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