The United Nations is convening a meeting of its central environmental policy body, the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi, Kenya from February 28 – March 4. Taking central stage at UNEA is the launch of negotiations towards a legally binding global instrument to tackle plastics pollution. Other expected outcomes include further global decisions on circular economy, green recovery, and a proposed science-policy panel on pollution.
In a letter to U.S. Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina and other Administration decisionmakers, USCIB called for inclusion of private sector expertise and recommendations in the formative stages of that new treaty, which will have supply chain and trade impacts for every industry sector.
Among several recommendations concerning the expected global plastic pollution agreement, the USCIB letter noted that: “UNEA 5.2 conclusions on plastic pollution should take into account the sectors and supply chains that will be impacted, reflecting potential benefits and challenges. It will be crucial to work closely with experts from the business community to reach an effective and implementable agreement that tackles plastics pollution, promotes innovation and investment, and advances a circular economy.”
With regard to other expected decisions at the upcoming conference, USCIB encourages UNEA 5.2 conclusions that: “Ensure participation of the private sector and other stakeholders in the development of future UN Environment Programme (UNEP) reports and future work streams, including a potential Science Policy Panel. Any further steps in this area should explicitly include and provide a role for business, and refrain from setting criteria for involvement that effectively disqualify the private sector.”
USCIB Senior Vice President for Policy and Global Strategy Norine Kennedy joined U.S. and global business representatives attending the negotiations in person in Nairobi. Kennedy stated that, “as the international community advances action on the triple environment challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, USCIB believes the private sector is indispensable to successful implementation, and we stand ready to provide business views and technical knowhow to inform these vital deliberations.”