The Nordic ministers have supported the global policy discussion on stronger global commitments to eliminate plastic litter in the oceans since 2016 by providing support to reports, assessments and to the intergovernmental process established by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). This report is a contribution from the Nordic countries to inform discussions about a new agreement.
„It is urgent to get in place a long-term solution to prevent plastic litter in our ocean. We will discuss this matter at our Ministerial meeting on 28 October and continue our Nordic leadership for a new agreement,“ said Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister of Environment and Chair of the Nordic Council of Environment and Climate Ministers.
Mismanaged plastic waste ending up in the environment and the ocean is a growing environmental challenge of global concerns. Large quantities of plastics is found in our oceans, air, soil and freshwater resources and is threat to our marine ecosystem
In 2017, the United Nations Environment Assembly agreed to the long-term vision to eliminate all discharge of plastic litter into the ocean. Reports to the UN have demonstrated fundamental gaps in the existing international legal and policy frameworks, rendering them ill-equipped to eliminate this problem. The Nordic Ministers agree that a new global agreement is the most effective measure to stop the global leakage of plastic into the environment.
"There is not one-size-fits-all approach to multilateral environment agreements. Therefore, I am glad to see this report lay out a number of possible opportunities for us to explore further" says Norwegian Minister Sveinung Rotevatn, also President of the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly. "The UN system is a good home for such agreements."
It is the Nordic aim that this report will inform the global policy discussions on a new global agreement. The Nordic countries supports a negotiation mandate towards a new global agreement to be adopted by the United Nations at the next possible opportunity.