Let us, the Nordic countries, once again thank you and the entire UNEP team for your tireless efforts in supporting what became a truly historic session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in March.
Having discussed at our Nordic Council of Ministers meeting today May 3 in Oslo, we share the sense of urgency and ambition as reflected in the mandate towards a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution and we commit to support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee established by UNEA5.2.
Furthermore, we are supportive of the decision to establish a Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals, waste, and pollution. Preventing pollution will bring benefit to the process on a global agreement on plastic pollution by strengthening the knowledgebase to inform policymaking to end plastic pollution.
It is our intention to continue our active Nordic role in the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee by providing our political leadership to maintain a high-level of ambition for the negotiations. Taking a life-cycle approach to plastics means that we need to identify measures across the entire value chain of plastic products. Microplastics is a key concern where it is crucial to identify effective global measures. If we are to succeed with a circular global plastics economy, we need to ensure that harmful substances, that may cause harm to human health and the environment, are not circulated.
Today we, the Nordic Ministers of the Environment and Climate, have decided to go forward and continue our commitment for Nordic cooperation in support of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee towards a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. UNEP has been given a clear mandate by UNEA to support this work and will be a key partner in our work. We look forward to engaging with you and your staff on the further details on how we can best support this important work as the Nordic countries.
We are confident that the global community will deliver on the ambition that we set before us, and that the global instrument on plastic pollution will truly become the most important deal for the environment since 2015. You can continue to count on our support.
Yours sincerely, on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate
Espen Barth Eide
Minister of Climate and Environment to Norway and Chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment and Climate