A step forward at UN Environment Assembly towards reducing global pollution

The fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) took place from the 28 February to 2 March in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme for UNEA’s 5th session was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” and highlighted the crucial role of nature in our lives, addressing the need of protecting and restoring nature, and proposing nature-based solutions to achieve the sustainable development goals in its three complementary dimensions – social, economic, and environmental.

This is in line with the Burlington consensus event, organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). EuChemS was invited to the Burlington consensus event, during which, experts emphasized the need for a global, independent platform that can address the issues of pollution on a global scale, highlighting that such a discussion should be high priority at the UNEA-5.

Partners from all continents, agreed to launch negotiations on a new legally binding global agreement on plastics, which aim is to address some ignored issues in the existing initiatives and agreements with regard to the design and production phases of the plastics life cycle. The overall goal of the agreement is eliminating the leakage of plastic into the environment. The main proposed solutions focus on prevention, proper design and production of plastics and their resource-efficient use. The first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will be held in the second semester of 2022 and the negotiation process is expected to end by 2024.

The UNEA conference is held every two years and brings together representatives of Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society, and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. For more information about the outcomes of the Assembly, visit: Environment Assembly (unep.org)

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