USCIB and its members were engaged throughout the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3). INC-2 was held November 13 to 19 at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
A USCIB delegation, headed by USCIB Policy Managers Chris Olsen and Agnes Vinblad, followed the negotiations and a range of events prior to and throughout the week. Additional USCIB members made the trip to Nairobi for the negotiations, joining through other observer organizations, and continued to convey how the business community can be solutions providers in the INC process.
According to Olsen, the negotiations were organized into three contact groups, broadly covering: substantive elements; financing, capacity building and means of implementation; and elements not discussed at INC-2. The results of these groups will be compiled into a single “revised draft text from INC-3” that includes a compilation of all the options proposed in addition to those of the Zero Draft text, as well as a proposal and other submissions regarding those elements that had not been discussed prior to INC-3. The third contact group was also unable to reach consensus regarding intersessional work. This “revised draft text” will be the basis for the negotiations at INC-4, in Ottawa, Canada, next April.
“Plastic Pollution is such a complex and multidimensional global issue, in need of even more multidimensional solutions,” said Vinblad while reflecting on the issues discussed throughout the week. “At INC-3, we have continued to see firsthand the wide range of views across countries and the wide range of perspectives across industries. It is critical that the INC process continues to be a negotiation inclusive of all observers and maintain a collaborative spirit, recognizing the key role of the global business community in identifying opportunities for innovation and implementation.”
INC-3 also saw a changing in its chair, with Gustavo Meza-Cuadra from Peru stepping back into a vice-chair role, and Ambassador Luis Vayas Valdivieso of Ecuador being elected to serve as the Committee’s Chair for INC-4, INC-5, and the final Diplomatic Conference in 2025. This had been agreed upon at the outset of the INC process. The host city of INC-5 was also announced as Busan, Republic of Korea, to take place late November of 2024.
Regarding the outcomes of INC-3, Olsen went on to stress, “While the lack of consensus regarding recommendations for intersessional work cast a small shadow over the end of the week that many have focused on, the fact of the matter remains that solid progress was made on many important topics that can serve as the foundation for negotiations at INCs-4 and 5 next year. Business needs to be ready to continue to educate and inform policymakers on how we can be partners in addressing these global challenges in the year to come.”