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UN Commission for Sustainable Development

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what matters the Government plan to raise at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development in New York in April. (128143)

I have been asked to reply.

The 15th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) takes place in New York from the 30 April to 11 May 2007. The topics under discussion were agreed in the 2003 multi-year programme of work, which operates in two-yearly cycles, with one review year and one policy year. We are currently in the second, policy year, of discussions on the cluster of climate change, industrial development, energy for sustainable development, and air pollution and atmosphere.

The UK will be working, through the EU, to secure action-oriented outcomes in each of the thematic sectors. In particular, the EU is looking to foster a transition to a global low-carbon economy, with diversified energy policies included in national sustainable development strategies and plans by 2010, and with priority to energy efficiency, renewable energies and improved access to sustainable and affordable energy services for all. The EU has also called for a basket of voluntary commitments on access to energy, energy efficiency and renewables, and a review mechanism to assess progress.

We are also working to ensure an integrated approach through including these issues in national sustainable development strategies, poverty reduction strategies and national development plans. We believe that full consideration of the interlinkages and cross-cutting issues is fundamental to good policy-making.

In addition, we want to ensure that the work of the CSD is complementary to and supports, rather than cuts across, the discussions and negotiations under the United Nations Forum Convention on Climate Change and its associated Kyoto protocol.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he plans to attend the 15th UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York in April. (128144)

The 15th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development will take place in New York from 30 April to 11 May 2007. The four main themes this year are Energy for Sustainable Development, Air Pollution/Atmosphere, Industrial Development and Climate Change. We are currently considering ministerial attendance with DEFRA.