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‘Most significant green deal since Paris’ — 175 nations to develop global treaty on plastics 

‘Most significant green deal since Paris’ — 175 nations to develop global treaty on plastics 
March 03
07:35 2022

Inger Anderson, executive-director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), says the world is set to triumph over single-use plastics as 175 countries commit to sign a global treaty to end plastics pollution. 

In a press release on Wednesday, Anderson said the plastics treaty is the most significant deal since the Paris accord, adding that it insures the lives of this generation and the future ones.

She said an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) will work on completing a draft that will be global and legally binding by the end of 2024.

“Today marks a triumph by planet earth over single-use plastics. This is the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord. It is an insurance policy for this generation and future ones, so they may live with plastic and not be doomed by it,” Anderson said.


“Let it be clear that the INC’s mandate does not grant any stakeholder a two-year pause. In parallel to negotiations over an international binding agreement, UNEP will work with any willing government and business across the value chain to shift away from single-use plastics, as well as to mobilise private finance and remove barriers to investments in research and in a new circular economy.”

The statement added that the resolution, titled “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument” was adopted at the conclusion of the three-day UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), held in Nairobi.

It added that the resolution will address the full lifecycle of plastics, including its production, design and disposal.


“The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work in 2022, with the ambition of completing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024,” the statement reads.

“It is expected to present a legally binding instrument, which would reflect diverse alternatives to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building and scientific and technical cooperation.

“The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will convene a forum by the end of 2022 that is open to all stakeholders in conjunction with the first session of the INC, to share knowledge and best practices in different parts of the world.

“It will facilitate open discussions and ensure they are informed by science, reporting on progress throughout the next two years. Finally, upon completion of the INC’s work, UNEP will convene a diplomatic conference to adopt its outcome and open it for signatures.


Espen Barth Eide, UNEA-5 president and Norway’s minister for climate and the environment said: “Against the backdrop of geopolitical turmoil, the UN Environment Assembly shows multilateral cooperation at its best. Plastic pollution has grown into an epidemic. With today’s resolution we are officially on track for a cure.”

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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