Germany advocates greater sustainability in chemicals management at UN Environment Assembly



Chemicals contribute to our prosperity, but they are also the cause of environmental and health risks. Policy-makers and the private sector therefore need to work together to promote sustainable chemicals management throughout the entire life cycle of chemicals. At the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly today, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) invited political decision-makers and experts from around the globe to discuss the future of international chemicals management beyond 2020. 

State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry and head of the German delegation Jochen Flasbarth commented: “We are providing the necessary political impetus before the international community’s mandate for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) runs out in 2020. Sustainable production and consumption require environmentally sound actions that promote human health. We will only be able to fulfil the goals of the Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) by 2030, if we find effective and innovative solutions for chemicals and waste management all around the world. Germany advocates seeking such solutions so that Nairobi can send an important signal for a globally improved, environmentally sound chemicals management.” 

Governments, businesses and civil society worldwide need to improve the cooperation between public and private initiatives and establish new standards. This should be done to make the use of chemicals more sustainable throughout their entire life cycle, including their use in consumer products. The importance of sustainable chemicals management cannot be rated too highly, since it has a global impact on the environment, our health, accident prevention and emergency response. The BMU is hosting a Side Event on this topic at the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly today. 

Following up on UNEA 4, the international community will take decisions on how to deal with the global challenges of chemicals management in the future at the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in Bonn in October 2020. The German government will advocate the introduction of goals for chemicals and waste management that are as ambitious as possible. 

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