The United Nations on Wednesday passed a resolution accepting start negotiations for the world is first mandatory global treaty on plastic pollution in what was hailed as a watershed moment for the planet and dubbed the “most grand green agreement from Paris”.
Nearly 200 nations at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi has unanimously agreed to establish an intergovernmental committee to negotiate and finalize a legally binding treaty on plastics by 2024.
“We do history today. You should all be proud”, Espen Barthe Eide, the climate of Norway and environment minister and President of UNEA, told delegates that the assembly broke in cheers and applause.
Negotiators were given a broad mandate to target plastic waste in all its forms – no just bottles and straws in the ocean, but invisible microplastics polluting the air, soil and the food chain.
The scope covers the entire life cycle of plastic and could introduce new rules on production, redesign of some products for easier recycling, sustainable use and better waste disposal.
The mandate allows for binding and voluntary measures and provides for the negociation of global objectives and obligations, the development of national action plans and mechanisms for monitoring progress and ensure accountability.
This also calls for financial help to help poorer countries take action.
the grand treaty framework approved by nations – including major plastic producers like USA and China – not spelled out specific policies, with details to be negotiated later.
Diplomats and conservationists hailed the start of negotiations as milestone for the environment but warned that the force of any treaty would be determined in upcoming talks.
the first round of on expects negotiations begin in the second half of the year.
most grand from Paris
The UN has described it as the most important green deal since the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Member States held talks for more more than a week in Nairobi okay on contour of a pact to curb in growing plastic pollution, an environmental crisis that stretches from ocean trenches to mountain peaks.
The resolution poses out the wide terms for a treaty that should be finalized by the end of 2024, said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
“It’s a historic moment,” Andersen told delegates in Nairobi, warning that the success of any deal would depend on the final terms which remain to be negotiated.
“As we embark on this journey, let us to be clear that the deal will only really matter if it has clear legally binding provisions,” she said.
Any treaty that imposes restrictions on plastic manufacturing, use Where design would impact oil and chemical companies that manufacture raw plastic, as well as consumer goods giants who sell thousands of some products in Single-use packaging.
Reuters reported on Monday that a draft resolution said the plastics treaty would be both legally binding and address the “full cycle of life of plastic”, which could cover production and packaging design as well as waste.
However, the terms in the draft resolution are broad and a UN intergovernmental negotiating committee has backed with countries and business interests that will interpret these words to their advantage, the delegates said.
Swiss Ambassador for the Environment Franz Perrez alluded to the divisions between countries for some 90 hours of night negotiations over the last week.
“It’s a division between those who are ambitious and want to find a solution and those who do not do want to find a solution for whatever the reasons,” he told a news conference in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“We must overcome the worries together of those who are not yet ready to achieve these ambitious steps what we would do like to do together,” Perrez said.