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Global treaty to cut plastic production needed urgently: EIA report ahead of UN summit

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January 21, 2022

Why in news?

The report on the impacts of plastics on climate, biodiversity, human health and environment was released ahead of the second part of UNEA 5 in Nairobi, Kenya.

What is UNEA?

  • United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is hosted by the UN Environment Programme.
  • It brings together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

What the draft report recommends?

1. Prioritise policies that address multiple threats acting at different timescales. This includes

  • measures to urgently eliminate the discharge of plastics into the environment,
  • phase plastic production down to sustainable levels in alignment with the SDG 12
  • promote the upscaling of reuse, refill and traditional packaging systems tailored to national contexts.

2. Peru and Rwanda resolution

  • UNEA member states need to support the convening of an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop a new global plastics treaty.

3. Meeting nationally determined contributions

  • Parties need to work toward reducing the climate impact from extraction, processing, cracking and polymerisation through targeted measures in their NDCs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in tandem with the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels in the energy sector.

4. Global Biodiversity Framework

  • Member states must ensure that the proposed target to eliminate plastic waste discharges by 2030 is upheld and harmonised with the objectives of a new global plastics treaty

What is the new plastic treaty?

  • A report on the impacts of plastics on climate, biodiversity, human health and environment was released.
  • Implementation of resolutions on marine litter and micro plastics is likely to be discussed at the meeting. 
  • The resolution proposes that a new global plastics treaty needs to be developed urgently. EIA report by UK also proposes for a plastic treaty.
  • It must take into account the entire lifecycle of Plastics.
  • Addressing the problem of plastic pollution must begin with production of plastic as a material.
  • This will redefine and decide every nation’s relationship with plastic.

How did consumer brands react?

  • Over 70 consumer brands including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Ikea, has called for a global treaty to fight plastic pollution that would include reducing the production of the material.
  • The companies added that UNEA 5.2 is the decisive, most auspicious moment to turn the tide on the global plastic pollution crisis and the world cannot afford to miss it.

Reference

  1. https://www.unep.org/environmentassembly/unea5
  2. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/waste/global-treaty-to-cut-plastic-production-needed-urgently-eia-report-ahead-of-un-summit-81198
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