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Accelerating the implementation of SDG 12.4

Overview

Accelerating the implementation of SDG 12.4

The Secretariat of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have launched a Community of Practice (CoP) on Chemicals and SDGs to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a summary of the discussion on Accelerating the implementation of SDG 12.4, which took place on 25 November 2020.

Presenter: Tessa Goverse (UNEP)

In 2015, world leaders adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. SDG target 12.4 specifically speaks to the need for sound management of chemicals and waste: 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. This and other internationally agreed targets, including those under multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), point to the urgent need to protect people and the planet from pollution. In 2019, the UN Environment Assembly recognized the implementation plan “Towards a Pollution-free Planet” as a vehicle to take urgent action on pollution (UNEA resolution 4/21). Chemicals use and management play a major role, not only in avoiding and reducing harmful exposure of people and the environment, but also in enabling circularity, enhancing non-toxic recycling and developing sustainable alternatives for polluting products and processes. The objective of this discussion was to explore how the implementation of sound management of chemicals and waste can be accelerated.