Focusing on practical implementation, with the aim of providing inspiration and applied solutions to chemical-related challenges, the German Pavilion formally opened on the sidelines of the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), which is convening through 29 September 2023.
Through multiple events, the Pavilion will focus on a different topic each day, namely:
- Addressing the Nexus of Climate, Biodiversity, and Agriculture;
- Exploring the Crossroads of Health and Labor;
- Emphasizing Human Rights, Science, and Education; and
- Analyzing Economics, Value Chains, and Innovation.
Welcoming participants on 25 September, Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Germany, underscored that the safe management of chemicals and waste plays a vital role in the necessary social and environmental transformation. She emphasized the role of science, research and development, and the need for all stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and industry, to work together. She emphasized that focusing on chemicals can support sustainable lifestyles and business practices, including in the fields of energy storage systems, medical technology, and agriculture. She also stressed the need for chemicals, materials, and related products to be designed to be safe and sustainable from the beginning.
Lemke said the Pavilion will also discuss:
- the multistakeholder partnership to address pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss;
- safe chemicals management and the interface between sustainable chemicals management and climate action;
- approaches to evaluating the risks chemicals pose, including by the German Human Biomonitoring Commission; and
- the cost of inaction.
With respect to the ongoing development of a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution, Lemke said it will be instrumental for a sustainable future, bringing the scientific community together in the same way that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) do for climate action and biodiversity conservation, respectively.
Held in September 2015, ICCM4 initiated an intersessional process to prepare recommendations on the future of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. ICCM5 is expected to adopt a successor policy framework to address this pressing challenge.