The NGO Greenpeace today regretted that meetings aimed at moving towards a legally binding global treaty on plastic pollution being held in Nairobi have been corrupted “by the producers of Petroleum and gas”whom they accuse of diverting the negotiations.
“Governments are allowing fossil fuel interests to drive negotiations towards a treaty that will undoubtedly worsen the plastic problem and accelerate the climate crisis,” said the head of the Greenpeace delegation in these negotiations, Graham Forbes, in a statement.
The third meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC-3), an initiative agreed in March 2022 during the Fifth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi, was scheduled to end this Sunday, but close sources to the talks informed EFE that the conclusions will not be announced until Monday due to disagreements between the negotiators.
“Our leaders have chosen to treat petrochemical companies as the only stakeholders worth listening to”Forbes noted.
“When negotiations resume in Canada in April 2024, our leaders must be prepared to show a level of courage and leadership we have not yet seen”he added, after indicating that “we need to find a way to move forward without oil and gas producers dictating the terms of our survival.”
The Nairobi round of negotiations, which follows meetings in Punta del Este (Uruguay) and Paris, has added importance because delegates from the 175 countries that approved the process to forge the treaty at UNEA-5 can now debate with the first draft of the pact in their hands.
The document proposes possible measures, from the most ambitious positions, which call for limiting the production of plastics and the establishment of global and binding standards, to the least, which focus on recycling and waste management.
“The main objective would be to have a clear mandate” to “prepare a revised text (of the treaty) in order to move forward”said the president of the negotiation committee, the Peruvian Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, at a press conference in Nairobi this Monday, at the beginning of the talks in the Kenyan capital.
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the world produces around 430 million tonnes of plastic each year, two thirds of which quickly become waste, much of which ends up polluting the land, sea and air, while increasingly making its way into the human food chain.
Furthermore, plastics generated in 2019 a 3.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, putting at risk efforts to not exceed the limit of 1.5 degrees of global warming, according to the UN agency.
The negotiations to agree on an international treaty against plastic pollution will cross their midpoint this week in Nairobi, before the next two meetings scheduled in April 2024 in Canada and in the second half of that year in South Korea.
Ricardo is a renowned author and journalist, known for his exceptional writing on top-news stories. He currently works as a writer at the 247 News Agency, where he is known for his ability to deliver breaking news and insightful analysis on the most pressing issues of the day.