Center for International Environmental Law Welcomes New Global Framework on Chemicals and Waste

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This landmark framework on Chemicals and Waste holds a distinctive status as the sole global comprehensive instrument addressing all aspects of chemicals and waste issues, setting it apart from other conventions with narrower scopes. It is dedicated to protecting people and the planet from harmful chemicals and waste, including by phasing out hazardous pesticides, and providing adequate and sustainable funding for financing for a toxic-free future. It brings together governments, public interest organizations, and industry representatives for collaborative negotiations, fostering involvement from environmental, health, and labor sectors.

The adoption of a new framework on chemicals and waste is the culmination of extensive negotiations initiated in 2015, characterized by challenging deliberations that led to a consensus only at the eleventh hour.

CIEL, in partnership with ambitious organizations and countries from the Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean played a pivotal role in securing several victories.

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) released the following statements:

David AzoulayDirector of CIEL’s Environmental Health Program:

“The issue of financing was one of the most controversial issues of this week of negotiating. The establishment of a dedicated trust fund, mirroring the successful Quick Start Program from the original SAICM, is a very welcome news. With an initial EUR 20 million pledged by Germany, this financing mechanism is important as it will support governmental implementation of national projects for the sound management of chemicals and waste. However, it remains limited (in time and access) and the discussions fell short of recognizing the need for a global fund with clear funding targets to reflect the breadth and urgency of the pollution crisis we are facing. It also falls short of really operationalizing the polluters pays principle, leaving the polluting chemical industries free to continue to operate without contributing financially to the prevention and reparation of the harm they cause around the world.”

Giulia CarliniSenior Attorney for CIEL’s Environmental Health Program:

“The newly adopted ‘Global Framework on Chemicals and Waste’ empowers States and stakeholders to identify and address new ‘issues of concern,’ while also enabling ongoing efforts to regulate previously identified issues, such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS. However, the determination of continued work on these existing issues will be made at the next conference. This decision underscores the critical need for ongoing support and funding to ensure that these important matters remain on the agenda and are effectively addressed, as we continue to make lasting progress in protecting our environment and health.”

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