The global goal to minimize adverse impacts of chemicals and waste will not be achieved by 2020
10 Key findings of Synthesis report of UN Environment Committee
The United Nations’ Environment Assembly, commenced in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 11, 2019 with a wakeup call — the world will miss the globally agreed target of minimizing adverse impacts of chemicals and waste by 2020. The GCO II summary – which sets out 10 key findings – finds that despite “significant progress” made, major implementation gaps remain.
What is UN’s Environment Committee?
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, and civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.
What is Global Chemicals Outlook II?
GCO II was mandated by United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in 2015, with a particular emphasis on areas where data were found to be lacking or inadequate, and to assess progress towards the UN’s goal of sound chemicals management globally by 2020. The first report, published in 2013, examined trends in worldwide chemicals production, use, disposal, and provided policy options. Through this page we will provide Chemical Watch articles relevant to the overarching themes of GCO II, under its four key headings.
Part I – Global context, trends and developments: In this initial section of the report, a focus will be on the changing global context of chemicals, including their production, use and consumption. It will look into trends in chemicals emissions and releases and hazardous waste, and their concentrations in the environment and human beings. In addition, the environmental, health and social effects and their costs will be examined, as will emerge policy issues and other issues with emerging evidence of risk.
Part II – Chemicals management topics running up to, and beyond, 2020: The second part will delve into how chemicals are being managed and analyzed. Testing, classification and hazard communication, risk assessment, risk management and reduction, identification and assessment of alternatives will all be focuses. Other topics will look into the preparation of, and response to, chemical related accidents, as well as global value chains, trade and life-cycle management and the interface of chemicals and waste in a circular economy.
Part III – Policies and governance and clearing a path forward: Section three will take a bird eye view of the opportunities and solutions that are available and how they can be mainstreamed. Here, the report will look at research and development trends, innovative business models, technological advances, mainstreaming green and sustainable chemistry at the university level, macro-economic and fiscal incentives, institutions, available information, and social and financial innovations.
Part IV – Activities for achieving SDGs: The final part of the report will review the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, which focus on, or require, chemicals and waste management. It will also evaluate available options that enable the sound management of chemicals and waste, such as financing and access to information.
The Global Chemicals Outlook II has been prepared over the past three years through a process involving more than 400 scientists and experts around the world under the guidance of the Steering Committee of the Global Chemicals Outlook II with participation from all regions and a wide range of stakeholders. The report has been developed in response to Governing Council decision 27/12, adopted in 2013, and United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 2/7, adopted in 2016.
Pic courtesy:EfD – Initiative
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