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Innovative Pathways to Achieve Sustainable Consumption and Production

Document type
Decision
Reference number
UNEP/EA.4/L.2
Date
Mar 11, 2019
Source
UNEP, InforMEA
Status
Adopted
Meeting
Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly
Website
web.unep.org
Full text
Innovative Pathways to Achieve Sustainable Consumption and Production.pdf
Abstract

Innovative pathways to achieve sustainable consumption and production*

The United Nations Environment Assembly,

Recognizing the significance of sustainable consumption and production to the achievement of sustainable development, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

Underlining the importance of advancing sustainable consumption and production patterns, including, but not limited to, through the circular economy and other sustainable economic models, and the implementation of 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns,

Recognizing the variety of policies that countries implement to move toward sustainable consumption and production, such as resource efficiency, circular economy, sustainable materials management, and 3Rs,

Recognizing also that innovative approaches and solutions are necessary to move our world closer to the vision set out in “The Future We Want” and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

Recognizing further the commitment made under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to continue to support developing countries to strengthen the scientific, technological and innovative capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production, including through implementation of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns,

Recalling that sustainable consumption and production is specifically addressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its Sustainable Development Goal 12 and the United Nations Environment Programme’s work on sustainable consumption and production, including through the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, and Environment Assembly Resolution 2/8 as well as resolutions 2/6, 2/7, 2/9, 2/11, and 3/7,

Recalling also the in-depth review of Sustainable Development Goal 12 at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2018 and the call for accelerated action, including the development of the One Planet Network to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 12, by the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development,

Recalling further that the review of the Sustainable Development Goal 11 at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018 showed the key importance of cities to improving resource efficiency and moving towards a circular economy,

Welcoming the analysis by the International Resource Panel in its report Global Resources Outlook 2019: Natural Resources for the Future We Want,

Noting current trends of exploitation of natural resources and its impact on the environment as laid out by the Global Resources Outlook 2019, highlighting that resource extraction and processing of materials, fuels, and food accounts for more than 90 per cent of global biodiversity and water stress impacts and approximately half of the global climate change emissions (disregarding climate impacts related to land use),

Recognizing that these trends affect the potential for future sustainable development, while adding substantial costs to national budgets, thus underlining the importance of considering incentives for stakeholders to act in a manner that is supportive to sustainable consumption and production patterns, including regulation, education and awareness raising, sustainable finance, economic tools, technical standards, product design, provision of systems and services and information as appropriate,

Emphasizing that resource management, climate, biodiversity, water, and land use are interlinked, and that resources are at the center of relevant voluntary initiatives, policies and regulatory frameworks aiming at resource efficiency and the sustainable management and use of natural resources, which are important for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and environment, and climate objectives,

Recognizing the importance of more efficient use of water resources and of wastewater management and of sound management of waste, ensuring waste prevention and collection, in the efforts for achieving sustainable consumption and production and minimizing environmental degradation resulting from waste leakage into the environment,

Acknowledging that a more circular economy, one of the current sustainable economic models, in which products and materials are designed so that they can be reused, remanufactured, recycled or recovered and therefore maintained in the economy for as long as possible along with the resources they are made of, and the generation of waste, especially hazardous waste, is avoided or minimised, and greenhouse gas emissions are prevented and reduced, can significantly contribute to sustainable consumption and production,

Recognizing that through industrial symbiosis, the waste of one company can be valuable raw material to another company, leading to companies that are resource efficient, competitive, and therefore grow, innovate and create more jobs, thereby may transform the industrial sectors of the member states and thereby reduce the environmental impacts of industrial activities,

Acknowledging that the use of life-cycle approaches helps ensure that materials are used more productively throughout their life-cycle, thereby reducing the generation of waste and environmental impacts, and can contribute significantly to the efforts for achieving sustainable consumption and production,

Recognizing the importance of minimizing and preventing when feasible hazardous substances in material cycles according to the national capabilities and best available technologies of each Member State and that sustainable consumption and production processes necessitate a more efficient use of material and products already in circulation, while secondary raw materials should perform similarly to virgin materials and their supply should become more predictable,

Recognizing that achieving sustainable consumption and production is only possible with the active support and participation of all stakeholders, in particular those who: extract and manage raw materials and natural resources, develop new materials, produce; design, manufacture, process and package goods, including food and services; sell products and services; make decisions on consumption and discard products; as well as those who manage waste and material recovery at the end of life as well as consumers with their consumption and disposal patterns,

Stressing that the Member States must take the lead in developing domestic policy measures to empower consumers in making informed choices with regard to their purchasing decisions in favor of sustainable products, goods and services,

Acknowledging in particular the role of Member States at all levels and their ability to transform markets and promote all pathways to sustainable consumption and production through sustainable public procurement,

Welcoming the cross-sectoral work and multi-stakeholder cooperation on resource efficiency and circular economy under the One Planet Network and the thematic programmes under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns based on the new One Plan for One Planet Strategy 2018-2022,

1. Invites Member States to consider approaches and policies to achieve sustainable consumption and production including but not limited to improving resource efficiency and moving towards circular economy when developing relevant national plans and policies, sustainable development strategies and sector policies or equivalent to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation and primary resource consumption and to take into account, when doing so, the outcomes of the 6th Global Environment Outlook and the Global Resources Outlook 2019: Natural Resources for the Future We Want;

2. Underlines the important role of the business and financial sector in supporting Member States in implementing approaches to achieve sustainable consumption and production in all its forms including but not limited to circular economy and other sustainable economic models and invites the business and financial sector to consider using life cycle assessment for the goods and services they produce and provide;

3. Encourages Member States to use incentives and other market-based instruments to support sustainable consumption and production through, inter alia, the provision of finance within their means that takes into account environmental, social and governance considerations, and end incentives for unsustainable consumption and production, as appropriate;

4. Encourages all Member States and relevant stakeholders to promote and support, where appropriate, the development, effectiveness and uptake of innovative sustainable business models consistent with national policies and laws, such as those reducing material consumption through the use of delivering services (e.g. lighting instead of light bulbs, cooling instead of fridges, mobility instead of cars, etc.), as well as new and more sustainable technologies, and pricing taking into account national policy provisions, legislation and circumstances, consumer information about the environmental aspects of products and services, awareness raising, consumer protection;

5. Encourages all Member States as well as cities and local communities and relevant stakeholders, including manufacturers and retailers, to enhance their collaboration to enable consumers and public authorities to make informed choices, inter alia through the provision of reliable consumer information regarding resource efficiency and wider sustainability of products and services, including, as appropriate through information on approaches to increase the longevity and re-use of products as well as recycling of materials, and through information on effective tools and incentives for making sustainable consumer choices, such as where appropriate, extended producer responsibility schemes;

6. Invites Member States to use, as appropriate, the guidelines for consumer information and other instruments developed by the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns for supporting sustainable and informed consumer choices and further invites the One Planet Network and, where relevant, the Partnership for Action on Green Economy and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, to continue to offer their support, upon request, including exchange of best practices;

7. Also invites Member States to promote the formation of communities of practice such as developing a national sustainable consumption and production resource pool in order to contribute and interact with the One Planet Network. Invites communities of practices to contribute to improving the science-policy interface, to advance policy reforms and implementation, innovations, and investments, and to enhance stakeholder collaborations, information-sharing and knowledge platforms for better decision-making on sustainable consumption and production at the national level in cooperation with the national focal point of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns;

8. Invites all Member States, in order to work towards achieving sustainable consumption and production, to develop sustainable public procurement policies and update their public procurement legal frameworks in line with the Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7 commitment;

9. Encourages Member States to promote public, private and public-private initiatives and alliances to stimulate demand for sustainable products;

10. Invites all Member States and relevant stakeholders, as appropriate, to design and implement public policies, plans and programmes that support education and awareness raising regarding the importance of sustainable consumption, sustainable lifestyles and sustainable consumer behaviour, as well as the development of related skills for academia and the private sector, including the financial sector;

11. Requests the Executive Director, in close consultation with the Member States, in particular, the potential future host country, to consider establishing the theme for a future World Environment Day, focusing on efforts to achieve sustainable consumption and production, including but not limited to a circular economy and other sustainable economic models;

12. Also requests the Executive Director to establish, within existing resources and building on work already undertaken without duplication of efforts, a time-limited task group comprising the International Resource Panel and the One Planet Network, to provide insights on the management of natural resources and raw materials in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and explore the potential offered by the different pathways towards sustainable consumption and production, as well as to identify, taking into account national circumstances, technical tools, best practices, policy options sustainable technologies and innovative business models and finance flows in this regard. Requests further that the task group completes its work in time to present the results to the United Nations Environment Assembly at its 5th session;

13. Invites the International Resources Panel to continue to regularly report to United Nations Environment Assembly, including through its Global Resources Outlook reports, about current trends and emerging issues related to the use and management of natural resources, over-consumption and their impact on the environment, the economy and the society and people, including scenarios, good practice examples and policy options;

14. Requests the Executive Director to take into account the outcomes of the analysis provided by the International Resource Panel, Global Environment Outlook, the Global Chemicals and Wastes Outlook, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other global assessments when carrying out activities in the Programme of Work and implementing previous resolutions related to the broader nexus of production, efficient use and sustainable management of resources;

15. Also requests the Executive Director to submit a report providing an overview of best practices and their impact related to designing products and services in a sustainable manner, minimizing harmful environmental impacts, and coherent product-policies to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation through sustainable consumption and production and to provide recommendations for consideration at the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly;

16. Further requests the Executive Director to undertake, subject to the availability of resources, a study based on a life-cycle approach and profiting from the work of the International Resource Panel and the One Planet Network, on the potential of current sustainable economic models for achieving sustainable consumption and production in certain sectors, such as plastics, textiles and construction, and including through value retention processes, such as direct reuse, repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing. Further requests the Executive Director to evaluate, in co-operation with relevant stakeholders, how to promote the availability of appropriate information in the value chain to favor sound and safe recycling of waste;

17. Invites the Member States in keeping with the commitment made under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda to continue to support developing countries to strengthen the scientific, technological and innovative capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production;

18. Requests the Executive Director to catalyse efforts for resource mobilization, including financial support, by Member States, international financial institutions, and the private sector for strengthening and scaling-up sustainable consumption and production action on the ground, including through the One Planet Multi-Partner Trust Fund on Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns;

19. Also requests the Executive Director to facilitate regional cooperation for sustainable public procurement regimes, in the context of the One Planet Network;

20. Further requests the Executive Director to streamline and improve the efficiency of the United Nations Environment Programme’s sub-programmes, activities, partnerships, and initiatives related to sustainable consumption and production.