On Monday May 2nd, The Human Impacts Institute began its two week long attendance at the 19th Session of the Commission for Sustainable Development at the United Nations. Throughout these two weeks, Hii will be attending negotiation sessions, meetings and related events, and reporting on session highlights and outcomes. Join the community conversation! What international policy changes do you want in regards to transport?
The Monday session kicked off with the opening remarks, and several working group negotiations on the text which will address its main thematic issues, specifically the issue of transport. Transport is a key topic due to the fact that it is one of largest consumers of energy in the developed world- and the fastest growing consumer in the developing one- and thus will be one of the major determinants of future energy use. It is also a critical issue in that it provides access to important services such as employment and education for all of the world’s population.
During the session, the co-chair went through the entire prepared text, with representatives from each countries or group of countries voicing their view of what text to add, change or omit. The European Union (EU), the Group of 77 (G77) and the United States were some of the more vocal participants to raise editorial concerns.
The G77 in particular added several points concerning aging transport in developing countries and their effects on respiratory health and the environment. They also brought up the need for developed countries to take the lead on improving the sustainability of transport and of sharing those improvements with the developing world through transfer of technology.
The EU also touched on the issue of transport in the developing world and of knowledge sharing by suggesting that transport should be incorporated into climate financing schemes such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The EU was not alone in bringing up the topic of climate change, and additional text referring to its importance was repeatedly suggested throughout the session.
Finally, there was quite a bit of focus on including language which made reference to promoting a green economy. This was suggested on several occasions by the United States and seemed to indicate a strong interest in such terminology.
Negotiations on text will continue throughout this week, with further sessions focussing on the four other thematic areas of mining, chemicals, sustainable consumption and waste management.