The Zero Pollution Stakeholder Conference was held in Brussels at the European Commission’s Berlyamont Building on 14 December. Representatives of the European Chemical Society, Executive Board member Ioannis Katsogiannis and Secretary General Nineta Hrastelj were invited to the conference, as EuChemS is a member of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platfrom.
The main topic of the conference was the 2022 Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook report, which consists of the results and future trajectories of the targets outlined in the EU’s Zero Pollution Ambition. The report uses an integrated approach to monitor a wide range of pollution metrics and their effects on health, economy and biodiversity. After demonstrating the report results, stakeholders could comment on them, leading to a lively discussion. Amongst other key themes, the role of scientific policy on a global level was further emphasized, and the creation of an UN Science Policy panel (which was called for by EuChemS at the Burlington Consensus, and discussed at the ECC8) was highlighted.
The second part of the conference consisted of three different “deep dive” sessions, each of which dealt with a specific subject related to pollution. The EuChemS delegation participated in the session on Zero Pollution and health. Executive Board member Ioannis Katsogiannis contributed to this session. After introducing EuChems to fellow stakeholders, he highlighted three key areas from a chemical standpoint. Firstly, he emphasized the high rate of European groundwater and surface water bodies which failed to achieve good chemical status. Secondly, he highlighted how waste reduction may cause other pollution-related issues due to waste burning, and lastly, he pointed out how the energy crisis may lead people to rely on hazardous heating materials, which is an issue that should be considered from a zero pollution standpoint. His contributions follows his intervention that he made on the previous Zero Pollution Stakeholder Meeting in October.
By being an active member of the Stakeholder Platform, EuChemS continues to work to ensure the sustainability of the chemical cciences, and to promote Scientific Policymaking, participating in future meetings that will follow in 2023.