Preparatory Committee for the Rio 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development

Last updated: 12/16/2011 // This statement to the preparatory committee for the Rio 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development was delivered by Ms. Marianne Loe, senior advisor in the Norwegian Ministry of foreign affairs. This second open-ended informal Intersessional meeting was a discussion on the compilation document.

Chair,

Our task is to make Rio+20 a success. We know the winning recipe: Multi-stakeholder engagement and concrete results and deliverables. Empowerment of women is an important catalyst and precondition for change. Investments in human capital will enhance economic efficiency and improve other development outcomes.  Equity and just distribution of resources is necessary for sustainable development. 

Against this background I have chosen to highlight a few key points;

  • Access to energy is essential for growth and human welfare. The Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative merits the support of all stakeholders. Rio +20 should deliver the necessary actions to achieve universal access, double energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy by 2030. Financial means have to be raised from a combination of sources. We need government commitment and supportive policies, free from corruption and with a political framework that encourage investments.
  • What we tax and what we subsidize must contribute to a sustainable economy. Norway has experienced how green taxes, such as carbon tax, can benefit the environment and raise revenue for public budgets. Or, green taxes can be construed in a revenue-neutral way. Rio should present a mix of policy options for a greener economy, including green taxes and incentives.
  • The value of natural capital needs to be taken into account in decisions, national accounting and economic transactions. We need to develop methods to this effect.  Initiatives such as REDD+ has demonstrated how natural capital can be valued.
  • On the Institutional Framework much can be achieved by simple and inexpensive solutions through unleashing synergies and improved cooperation. Norway supports a Sustainable Development Council as an improved inter-governmental forum for sustainable development.
  • The environmental pillar of the UN system must be made more effective. It is necessary to reform UNEP’s governance structure. We support universal membership of the UNEP Governing Council and the establishment of an Executive Board.
  • Norway will also take active part in developing Sustainable development goals.

Finally, the zero draft document should be short, focused, political and action oriented.

Thank you, Chair.


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