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News and opinion articles to inform on challenges, trends and achievements on the sound management of chemicals.

  • August 25
    UNEP Report Spotlights Best Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Products

    UNEP Report Spotlights Best Alternatives to Single-Use Plastic Products

    Around 50% of all plastic produced is produced for single-use purposes, according to a new report. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for countries to reduce pollution from single-use plastic products. Life-cycle assessment studies compared SUPPs and their alternatives - both single-use and reusable - including for shopping bags, beverage bottles, take-away food packaging, beverage cups, tableware, nappies/diapers, pads and tampons, and face masks.

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  • August 4
    Chemicals and Wastes Conventions Make Progress between In-Person Meetings

    Chemicals and Wastes Conventions Make Progress between In-Person Meetings

    The parties to three global conventions on hazardous chemicals and wastes convened online to make decisions enabling operations to continue until a face-to-face meeting is possible. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin notes that in addition to the key policy achievements resulting from this meeting, two central challenges endure: financial support for the sustainable management of chemicals and waste, and the meaning—and operationalization—of universal access and participation.

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  • August 2
    Webinar Provides Updates on Indicators for SAICM Beyond 2020

    Webinar Provides Updates on Indicators for SAICM Beyond 2020

    To provide information and ideas for the development of SAICM beyond 2020, information on targets, reporting, and indicators used in three UN frameworks or agreements were presented. All three examples include an instrument for national implementation, with associated targets, indicators, and reporting. An independent evaluation of SAICM identified a need for ‘impact’ indicators on the state of the environment and public health regarding chemicals and waste. 

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  • July 26
    Drafting Group Provides Recommendations for Post-2020 Chemicals Declaration

    Drafting Group Provides Recommendations for Post-2020 Chemicals Declaration

    An informal drafting group has concluded its work to develop essential elements for a possible high-level declaration on a post-2020 chemicals agreement. The co-facilitators have identified issues requiring further review, such as funding, peer review, science-policy interface, and capacity building. The group's recommendations will form the basis of a proposal for continued discussions on the declaration when face-to-face meetings resume. 

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  • July 26
    Cooling Paradox Must Be Addressed: Montreal Protocol Task Force

    Cooling Paradox Must Be Addressed: Montreal Protocol Task Force

    To continue facilitating the repair of the ozone layer, the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol held the second part of its 43rd Meeting. The technical discussions created a basis for the policy negotiations expected to take place at the combined meetings of the Vienna Convention COP and Montreal Protocol MOP in October 2021. Discussions addressed the unexpected increase in emissions of CFC-11 and related calls for improved monitoring and enforcement, and the need to shift to energy-efficient and low-global-warming-potential technologies,

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  • July 21
    Ministers Pledge Funding, Commitment for Chemicals Action

    Ministers Pledge Funding, Commitment for Chemicals Action

    During the Ministerial Dialogue, the Governments of Denmark, Germany, and the UK announced additional contributions to the UN Environment Programme’s Special Programme on Institutional Strengthening for the Chemicals Cluster. A Stakeholder Dialogue featured calls for the establishment of a science-policy interface on chemicals and waste. 

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  • July 21
    Report Highlights Opportunities for Coordinated Action on Climate, Chemicals

    Report Highlights Opportunities for Coordinated Action on Climate, Chemicals

    Interlinkages between climate change and hazardous chemicals management support the case for mobilizing resources to combat climate change. The authors say more information and data should be generated on links in such areas as groundwater, freshwater systems, pesticide usage projections, and desertification. 

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  • July 13
    Study Examines Prospects for Collaboration among Biodiversity, Chemicals and Waste Conventions

    Study Examines Prospects for Collaboration among Biodiversity, Chemicals and Waste Conventions

    The study seeks to enable the four chemicals and waste conventions to contribute to discussions on and implementation of the post-2020 biodiversity framework and future work of biodiversity-related instruments. Mercury, POPs, pesticides, and hazardous and other wastes are negatively impacting soil biodiversity, which can affect food security. Collaboration on plastics, e-waste, pesticides and pollinators, illegal trade, the sharing of monitoring data and scientific research, and shared communications and messaging could benefit both the biodiversity and chemicals and waste worlds.

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  • June 30
    SAICM Report Urges More Circularity for Building and Construction Materials

    SAICM Report Urges More Circularity for Building and Construction Materials

    Addressing chemicals of concern in building and construction provides significant opportunities for sustainable development. A building’s life cycle can last from several decades to centuries, creating a lag between the design and manufacturing stages of a construction product and its end-of-life stages. The global construction sector is expected to grow by 3.5% annually with its chemicals market estimated to increase by 6.2% annually between 2018 and 2023. 

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  • June 16
    Better Toy Safety Policies Needed to Protect Children: SAICM Report

    Better Toy Safety Policies Needed to Protect Children: SAICM Report

    An analysis of toy safety policies addressing chemicals of concern in toys was undertaken in low- and medium-income countries with the highest total import value of toys from China. The research indicates existing regulations in Tajikistan and Tanzania, but not in the other low-income countries reviewed. The report suggests that countries manufacturing or importing toys should establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with local regulatory requirements.

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  • June 23
    GEF Council Approves Over $280M for Biodiversity, Climate, Chemicals, and Water

    GEF Council Approves Over $280M for Biodiversity, Climate, Chemicals, and Water

    The projects will address the interlinked challenges of climate change, biodiversity and wildlife habitat loss, land degradation, ocean pollution and depletion, and dangerous chemicals. The five Executive Secretaries from the conventions for which the GEF serves as a financial mechanism raised the themes of collaboration and the need for synergistic action during a dialogue with the GEF Council. 

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  • June 14
    Experts Discuss Targets, Indicators for Chemicals and Waste Management Framework

    Experts Discuss Targets, Indicators for Chemicals and Waste Management Framework

    The 2021 edition of the Helsinki Chemicals Forum took place online from 27-28 April 2021. A panel session addressed targets and indicators to track national and global progress, as well as the role of regions with advanced chemicals management systems in helping less developed countries achieve a high standard of protection by 2030. The fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management will convene "once an end of the pandemic is foreseeable and travel restrictions are lifted around the world".

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  • June 7
    SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry

    SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry

    The policy brief includes recommendations for government and the private sector in approaching PFAS as a class for production and use control purposes. The cost to the textile industry of poor chemical management is estimated at €7 billion per year, indicated by the value opportunity of eliminating occupational illnesses by 2030. The report describes the textile sector as an appropriate choice for analysis given the sector’s global value chain, which provides lessons for capacity building and enabling conditions that can extend to other sectors as well.

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  • June 1
    Montreal Parties Agree on Replenishing Funds for Ozone Action

    Montreal Parties Agree on Replenishing Funds for Ozone Action

    The extraordinary meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (ExMOP 4) met to ensure donor countries could make payments to the Multilateral Fund within the fiscal year. Delegates then held discussions on scope and content of guidance to the TEAP Replenishment Task Force on further work on its replenishment report. OEWG 43 will resume in July 2021 to discuss energy efficiency and unexpected emissions of the ozone-depleting substance CFC-11.

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  • May 26
    Review Describes EU Progress and Challenges on E-Waste Targets

    Review Describes EU Progress and Challenges on E-Waste Targets

    EU member States collect and recover more discarded electrical and electronic equipment than most of the world. Addressing criminal activity remains a significant challenge in e-waste management, given the economic incentives for illegal or unsound waste management exist and low risk of getting caught. Updated requirements do not yet cover certain electrical and electronic equipment, like mobile phones and computers.

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  • May 19
    Practitioners Discuss Boosting Synergies Between Chemicals and Biodiversity Communities

    Practitioners Discuss Boosting Synergies Between Chemicals and Biodiversity Communities

    The SAICM Secretariat and the University of Cape Town established the Community of Practice on Chemicals and SDGs to bring representatives from different sectors together and create a learning network. The discussion highlighted the need to strengthen dialogue at the national level to ensure delivery and implementation of the post-2020 global frameworks for chemicals and biodiversity. Participants said the relationship between the two agendas is not reflected in the siloed approaches of the current policy landscape.

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  • May 12
    Multisectoral Financing Needed for Chemicals and Waste Management, Say Experts

    Multisectoral Financing Needed for Chemicals and Waste Management, Say Experts

    A webinar convened by IOMC featured presentations by the SAICM Secretariat, the UN Environment Programme, the UN Development Programme, and the World Bank. Speakers said a multisectoral approach is needed to address financing considerations, and signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment manage a total of USD 103.3 trillion in assets. The World Bank discussed PROCLEAN, a new partnership with development partners and client countries to help countries achieve the SDGs and improve public and environmental health outcomes through circular economy and pollution prevention and abatement interventions.

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  • May 10
    Experts Call for Chemical Accident Prevention in Beyond 2020 Framework

    Experts Call for Chemical Accident Prevention in Beyond 2020 Framework

    Speakers said many past chemicals accidents could have been prevented if experiences had been shared in a systematic manner. The webinar highlighted that chemical accidents must be considered in the Beyond 2020 process, given that the global chemical industry is expected to double by 2030. Panelists said investing in chemical prevention, response and preparedness will result in economic, social, and environmental benefits.

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  • May 3
    Webinar Underscores Illegal Trade of Chemicals and Waste Remains a Serious Problem

    Webinar Underscores Illegal Trade of Chemicals and Waste Remains a Serious Problem

    Limited progress has been made across regions, and illegal traffic remains a serious threat to developing countries. Illegal traffic of pesticides could be addressed by improving legislation and developing policy and technical guidelines. The webinar was organized by the IOMC with support from the Government of Germany.

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  • May 3
    Green Chemistry Critical for Beyond 2020 Process and Achieving SDGs, Experts Say

    Green Chemistry Critical for Beyond 2020 Process and Achieving SDGs, Experts Say

    Green and sustainable chemistry is a critical part of the Beyond 2020 process and is supporting achievement of the SDGs. The event discussed current initiatives, the perspective of national governments on applying green or sustainable chemistry, and examples of collaboration and successful experiences related to sustainable chemistry. Aligning SAICM's work to green and sustainable chemistry can help achieve a higher level of sustainable production and use of chemicals.

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  • April 21
    Virtual Working Group Issues Proposals for Financing Chemicals Management

    Virtual Working Group Issues Proposals for Financing Chemicals Management

    IPEN proposed a globally coordinated tax or fee on the production of basic chemicals to finance chemical safety actions, while African Group proposed the chemical industry contribute 0.5% of its annual revenue to fund SAICM implementation. The ICCA proposed a capacity-building clearinghouse mechanism to bring together initiatives, map existing capacity-building efforts, and help track progress and generate additional funding.

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  • April 21
    UNEP Report: Regulatory Restrictions on Chemicals in Electronics Spurs Innovation

    UNEP Report: Regulatory Restrictions on Chemicals in Electronics Spurs Innovation

    Countries with regulations addressing chemicals of concern in EEE are either high- or middle-income countries. The content of chemicals of concern in EEE may hinder recycling due to concerns of potential impacts during post-consumer uses of these materials. Regulations addressing chemicals of concern in EEE have spurred innovation and substitution in the electronics sector.

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  • May 28
    Call for proposals: Toolkit to support regulatory compliance in the toy supply chain

    Call for proposals: Toolkit to support regulatory compliance in the toy supply chain

    UNEP is looking for a partner to develop a training toolkit to support early supply chain actors in the toy sector in identifying, meeting and going beyond regulatory requirements on chemicals of...

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  • April 14
    Working Group on Chemical Issues of Concern Publishes Proposals for Beyond 2020

    Working Group on Chemical Issues of Concern Publishes Proposals for Beyond 2020

    The final report of the virtual working group proposes text and provides a brief rationale for each proposal. The VWG said the process for addressing "issues of concern" should be: simple, inclusive and transparent; promote greater ownership; enhance implementation; and consider the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The group agreed the ICCM is the appropriate body to take decisions regarding the future of current emerging policy issues and other issues of concern. 

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  • April 14
    Experts Propose Targets, Process to Establish Indicators for Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    Experts Propose Targets, Process to Establish Indicators for Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    The report of the virtual working group details considerations and components of each target, to provide explanations and rationales to further inform the process, and to serve as a “guide” for the wording of targets. The Group generally agreed further work is required to develop draft targets before extensive work on indicators and milestones.

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