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Remarks on Inter-Linkages and Cross-Cutting Issues at the 15th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development

Ed Piñero, United States Federal Environmental Executive, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Remarks at the 15th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
New York City
May 2, 2007

As we have said over the past two days, the CSD has already delivered some important successes during this two-year cycle. CSD-registered partnerships have delivered concrete, measurable results on the ground. CSD participants have submitted more than 200 case studies into the CSD Matrix; an innovative knowledge-sharing tool with lessons learned and best practices from all corners of the globe. And, the CSD Learning Center has provided practical capacity building to hundreds of CSD participants.

Despite these successes, we still have more work to do here at CSD-15 and in the months and years ahead. During today's discussion on cross-cutting issues, I'd like to comment on one element of the Rio and Johannesburg agreements that will come to CSD in 2010: the Sustainable Consumption and Production initiative, commonly known as the Marrakech Process.

The Marrakech Process launched in 2003 addresses ways to promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production (SCP), through the development of a 10 year framework of programs in support of regional initiatives to accelerate the shift towards SCP. The U.S. Government has been active in the Marrakech Process since its inception, and most notably since the 2005 meeting in Costa Rica. The United States is generally supportive of the Marrakech Process as it is currently evolving. Its focus on dialogue, sharing of best practices, ideas, and case studies through voluntary efforts is consistent with our philosophy of how to best implement these concepts. We feel that the clearinghouses, inventories of case studies and experiences, promotion of private-public partnerships, and the bringing together of key stakeholders through the regional discussions and cooperation dialogues will facilitate the scaling up of technology and innovative practices. We will continue to support this practical approach to implementing sustainable consumption and production practices.

The pragmatic approach taken by the Marrakech Process is an excellent example of why the U.S. delegation feels it is important for CSD-15 to produce a concise and focused decision document. Means of implementation do not necessarily come from words on a page but from unleashing the creativity, enthusiasm, and resources of a distributed network of stakeholders across the globe.

The decision document we will begin negotiating tomorrow is one of the many outputs of this two-year CSD cycle. The CSD Chairman has also encouraged us to use CSD as a platform for highlighting specific initiatives, actions, and projects.

A series of new initiatives being implemented within the U.S. Government itself embody many of the principles of this CSD cycle, as well as the sustainable consumption and production practices. On January 24, 2007, President Bush issued Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. The Executive Order commits the Federal government to a series of goals and practices in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings, electronics stewardship, fleet management, recycling, and green purchasing. For example, the Executive Order requires U.S. Government agencies to reduce their energy intensity 30% by 2015 and requires 95% of government-purchased computers to be "EPEAT-registered" for environmental and energy attributes.

The Executive Order compels the government to look to new approaches, new technology, innovative financing, and private-public partnerships - all elements of SCP and the Marrakech Process. Through this Executive Order, the public sector will lead by example promoting sustainable environmental and energy stewardship, while at the same catalyzing markets and raising capacity.

The United States looks forward to the successful conclusion of the 2005-2007 CSD Energy Cycle and the continuation of the Marrakech Process on sustainable consumption and production patterns.

USUN PRESS RELEASE #  103(07)  



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