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Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals: A transformational agenda for an insecure world by Felix Dodds, Ambassador David Donoghue & Jimena Leiva Roesch

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Discusant to the UN AMR Prepcom on science and technology

Dear Ambassador, what a rich and interesting contribution to this afternoon’s session.


The role of Science and technology will be increasingly critical to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

I was interested in how the Minister discussed the issue of financing ---

The new Expert Committee on Sustainable development financing needs to be collecting all the ideas on funding SD. Perhaps it should be looking to provide menus of funding options perhaps around the Human Development Index levels of development – clearly ODA will play a continued significant factor for  some countries but as Adnan said this morning even this is changing in sub Saharan Africa.

Matching the new development goals and targets with effective and realistic funding to enable a real opportunity for integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions hasn’t been done since 1992 when of course that was not then delivered.

I wanted to ask us to take a step back for a moment.

We know that the global impacts of population change, economics prosperity in emerging economies and an increasing urban world combined with climate change will mean by 2030:
               Increased energy demand by 30-40%;
               Increased demand for food:  agriculture production to increase by 30-50%
               Demand for water will exceed global availability by 40% by 2030

The Nexus approach asks us to look at the inter-linkages between these three critical areas.
Gary embrace complexity --- not only the three dimensions  but across sectors.
So it isn’t just the interconnectivity between the three dimensions of sustainable development but the inter-linkages between major sectors.

We need wins across sectors as well as in sectors – only one development agenda is going to be able to address all of this

The question of course is, can we and if so how?

On Hunters comments on companies there are of course already some very good schemes that help companies such as the natural capital work which Michawl Anderson mentioned in his presentation not only governments but corporations are part of that World Bank Initiatives from Rio+2-0. But also the global reporting initiative.

One of the failures of Rio+20 was that it did not agree a global reporting framework for companies particularly as many were calling for it. The report or explain campaign by some of the major financial companies and supported by NGOs would go a long way to impacting on how companies could operate more sustainably. I hope the work of the government friends group led by South Africa, Brazil, France and Denmark will be able to make this an integral part of the outcome of 2015. Great to hear from Gary about the impact of reporting can have. Gary – honest broker UN//Ecosoc.

There are some interesting solution platforms that are emerging which I think will help us distill good ideas.
               Out of the WSSD was the Sustainable Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development – the SEED Imitative
               Jeffrey Sachs Solution center which will play an important role as and when the  new development goals are agreed
               The Katerva Solutions Center and Awards – looking at global challenges first on waste water and urban issues.
               Energy Grand Challenge for Development – a Rio+20 partnership et by USAID and the African Development Bank - provides financial and technical assistance to innovators worldwide to promote clean energy solutions within developing countries' agriculture sectors
               X  prize – which is trying to create a tri-corder similar to Dr McCoys’s is Star Trek which will be able to tell what is wrong with you.
 
These will all contribute and many more to help us address the future challenges and the need for scaling up implementation 

In California two towns legislated that all new homes will have to have solar panels. Is the way forward for stronger government intervention but also for more decentralized energy provision as people may individually producing their own energy in the future. I am not sure how that reflects Gary's liberty v communitarinism?  It think it was great to hear what Adnan said about the cost of solar prices coming down and also the vital role that targets play…this should give us realistic hope for the implementation of any new sets of goals and targets agreed in 2015
 
I also like Adnan question if there are win, win wins out there. Our agenda sits within a broader technology and science invoovation agenda. How will this agenda address some of the major technology disruptions coming down the road over next 10 years?
               3D printers – could end mass production jobs massive reduction in ecological footprint
               Driverless cars, lorries and buses – more energy efficient and cleaner vehicles
               ITunes education (700million downloads last year) – Google health - could have great impacts on diagnose and cut out deaths and illness.

These are all technological changes that will likely have a positive impact for the environment but will have a huge negative impact on jobs. We need to build resilience and a just transition and identify potential surprises and challenges, and develop robust strategies to cope with them.

Stakeholders
Just as there are innovations in the area of science and technology we will see that having an impact on governance. Underlining the comments of ian nobel this morning --The future earth initiative  is bringing in all stakeholders—there is a real need to have an overall panel on science on sustainable development which the IPCC and IPBES would fit under.
 
On Philips points and comments by sus ulbeak this morning – what is missing is there needs to be mechanisms at all levels of government, local, regional government and national government to integrate stakeholders into platforms that. Infact key countries have closed down their sustainable development councils. This morning Michael talked about the cabinet committee for integrating sustainable development YES a great idea but you also need a multistakeholder platform which the UK has no longer got. 
 
The evolution of stakeholder engagement at the UN has been through the Rio process.
In 1992 the nine chapters of Agenda 21 recognized that better informed decisions were taken if stakeholders were involved in the evolution of those decisions.

At WSSD in 2002 we recognized that involving stakeholders in the implementation meant that more of the agreements would be more likely implemented and implemented more effectively.
 
Rio+20 went further to say that stakeholders should also be involved in the agenda setting.  
This needs to be reflected much more at all levels of governance.
National Sustainable Development Councils could play a significant role on helping to address the future challenges – common problem solving and co-ownership of implementation will have a great impact on the role of government
 
It was President Clinton who called government the great facilitator and maybe that is the role they will play more in the future. Are governments at all levels ready to embrace a real stakeholder democracy? Or will there need to a global spring?