Nairobi, March 2 (EFE).- The United Nations Environment Assembly, the world’s main environmental decision-making body, endorsed a historic resolution to end plastic pollution at its 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi on Wednesday.
During the closing session of UNAE-5, ministers of the environment and other representatives of 175 nations adopted a plan to forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024 by creating an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which is expected to present instruments to find alternatives addressing the full lifecycle of plastics.
“I see no objections. It is so decided,” said the president of UNEA-5 and Norway’s minister for climate and the environment, Espen Barth Eide, who approved the adoption of the resolution by symbolically bringing down the gavel, which was made from recycled plastic from a Kenyan landfill.
“We are making history today. You should be proud,” said Eide to a standing ovation by the attendees that celebrated the historic milestone.
“Plastic pollution has grown into an epidemic. With today’s resolution, we are officially on track for a cure.”
UNEP executive director Inger Andersen said: “Today marks a triumph by planet earth over single-use plastics. This is the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord. It is an insurance policy for this generation and future ones, so they may live with plastic and not be doomed by it.”
After intense negotiations, the resolution was adopted at the second session of UNEA-5 in Nairobi, which houses the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
The landmark resolution is based on three proposals submitted by Peru, Rwanda, Japan and India, respectively addressing the full life cycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal.
The INC will start working in 2022, with hopes of finalizing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
Once the INC concludes its role, UNEP will convene a conference to adopt and sign the results by its members. EFE