The European Commission is seeking to secure the launch of negotiations for a new legally binding global agreement on plastics.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius is representing the EU at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly – the world’s highest level decision-making body on the environment – taking place this week in Nairobi, Kenya.
The EU aims for an agreement that takes a circular, life-cycle approach to plastics as outlined in the Circular Economy Action Plan.
It also seeks to create a Science-Policy Panel for Chemicals, Waste and Pollution to reinforce scientific advice to the global community in a similar way as the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.
A final objective is to reach an agreement on defining and promoting nature-based solutions, which are actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural and modified ecosystems.
Mr Sinkevičius said: “Our planet faces the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. The EU is not only addressing it at home but is building alliances on the international stage as we need to tackle these global challenges together. I am going to Kenya to secure key EU priorities, especially launching the negotiations for a new global agreement on plastics.
“We already have over 140 partners on board and I am confident the international community will step up. Collectively we can have real impact and that is what I am hoping for at the UN Environment Assembly.”
A number of side events will be organised next to the negotiations, including the EU Commission’s ‘A zero pollution ambition to protect nature and people’, which will focus on actions and approaches to further strengthen pollution reduction action as a contribution to nature protection and wellbeing.