Sustainable Chemicals and Materials Policy for Protecting the Climate and Biodiversity

Chemicals and materials policy deals with both the risks and the opportunities of chemicals as well as with the volume of material flows from raw material extraction to waste. As with the policy areas of climate and biodiversity, there is a need for a global transformation in chemicals and materials policy with a strong focus on the guiding principles of precaution and sustainability. The boundaries of our planet must no longer be exceeded.

The impacts of chemicals and materials are closely related to climate change and biodiversity. Without a substantial change in the mode we deal with sub- stances and thus in our economic practices and lifestyles, the goals of the international agreements on climate and biodiversity will not be achieved.

Biodiversity, climate change and chemicals and materialspolicy are closely intertwined. All three global challenges must be addressed and solved together. Binding international agreements already exist for climate change and biodiversity, but not yet for chemicals and materials policy, although it has a comparable influence on the fate of the planet. Thus, there is a need for a binding global framework agreement on substances aiming to replace the current fragmented approaches and non-binding exchange forums like SAICM.