CSD Preparatory Meeting Addresses Climate, SIDS and Transport Issues

4 March 2011: The Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19) took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, from 28 February-4 March 2011.

The IPM's role in the lead up to CSD 19 was to provide a forum to discuss policy options and possible actions to enable the implementation of measures and policies concerning the thematic issues under consideration during the CSD 18/CSD 19 (2010-2011) two year “implementation cycle.” These thematic issues are: transport, chemicals, waste management, mining, and sustainable consumption and production patterns. The IPM considered each thematic area and delegates outlined possible policy options and actions for adoption at CSD 19. Delegates also considered inter-linkages, cross-cutting issues and means of implementation, as well as small island developing states (SIDS).

During the session on SIDS, Argentina, on behalf of the G-77/China, said the challenges SIDS face in pursuing the sustainable development agenda must be viewed against the backdrop of the economic crisis, compounded by the impacts of climate change.

During the panel discussion on transport, Tuvalu, for the Pacific SIDS, noted the need for international support to adapt island transport infrastructure to cope with sea-level rise and other climate change impacts. The US outlined global transportation challenges, including: achieving health, climate and energy security goals through transportation emissions reductions; and innovating goods movement systems for co-benefits in terms of energy efficiency, energy security, cost effectiveness and reduced pollution. Saudi Arabia proposed a policy recommendation on greater fossil fuel investment and clean fossil fuels. Thailand highlighted the need for a shift to energy efficiency to enhance energy security and mitigate climate change impacts.

During the session on interlinkages and cross-cutting issues, Adil Najam, Pardee Center, Boston University, highlighted linkages between CSD 19's themes and energy, water, poverty and development. He said that since UNCED issues such as climate change and biodiversity have been addressed in a somewhat “compartmentalized” manner, but are now sufficiently “mature” that they could be considered collectively rather than in a “balkanized” series of discrete processes.

The IPM's deliberations resulted in a Chair's draft negotiating text, and attention now turns to CSD 19, which is scheduled to take place from 2-13 May 2011 at the same venue. [IISD RS coverage of the IPM]