The Assembly is considering a number of draft decisions, three of which relate to plastic pollution and marine plastic waste. One of the key goals of Finland and the European Union is for the member states to start negotiations on a legally binding global plastics agreement. Finland is pursuing an ambitious agreement that covers the entire life cycle, sustainable production and consumption of plastics and the circular economy. Competing proposals focus more on end-of-life and waste management of plastics, voluntary reduction of disposable plastics and prevention of marine litter.
“Millions of tons of plastic end up in the seas every year. The seas and marine plastic pollution know no borders. That is why we need a global agreement and common goals to end plastic pollution,” said the Minister for the Environment and Climate. Emma Kari.
Member States are also discussing the launch of negotiations on the establishment and termination of the Scientific Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste and Pollution. In Finland’s view, the panel should produce scientific reports to support decision-making and highlight new topics of global interest and seek solutions to them. In addition, Finland is working to strengthen the scientific role of the UN Environment Program.
The Assembly will also discuss resolutions on biodiversity and the circular economy.
The General Assembly is expected to agree on an ambitious ministerial declaration emphasizing the importance of a clean and diverse environment and climate action to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
The General Assembly will be followed by a special session on 3 and 4 March to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The high-level discussions in the session will assess the achievements of UNEP over 50 years and its role in achieving the goals of Agenda 2030. The session is due to issue a high-level political declaration to strengthen environmental governance, environmental legislation and UNEP.
The Finnish delegation includes representatives from ministries, research institutes, non-governmental organizations and the IMF Sitra, and also includes a youth delegation.
Source: Ministry of the Environment
Source: The Nordic Page