Global Governance of Plastic Pollution: Transforming the Global Plastics Economy
30 Aug 2021 13:00
31 Aug 2021 18:00
Organization: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
The Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will be hosting a two-day virtual conference on global governance of plastic pollution, on 30-31 August. The cosponsors of this conference include researchers from a range of collaborating organizations. The conference is also supported by organizations working to improve the global governance of plastic pollution, including the Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environment and Trade Hub, the Geneva Environment Network (GEN), the Geneva Trade Platform (GTP), and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).
Online Public Conference
How can the global plastics economy be transformed to reduce plastic pollution and support progress on international climate goals? What kinds of global governance are needed to advance these efforts?
The Global Governance Centre at the Graduate Institute Geneva and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) invite you to join an online public conference on the Global Governance of Plastic Pollution: Transforming the Global Plastics Economy on 30 and 31 August 2021, from 13:00-18:00 CEST.
Over 100 countries are calling for the launch of UN negotiations for a new global treaty on plastic pollution in 2022. Spurred by alarm about the scale and impacts of marine plastic pollution, advocates of stronger international cooperation are calling for approaches that address environmental and health impacts across the entire life-cycle of plastics, including air pollution, climate impacts and plastic pollution on land, as well as the economic burden on developing countries struggling to manage a rising tide of plastic pollution and waste. Meanwhile, however, investment in new carbon-intensive plastic production continues to rise.
The starting point for this conference is that efforts to improve global governance of plastic pollution must look ‘upstream’ to tackle the strong economic and political forces driving the expanding global plastics economy and associated pollution; and to address these in a way that enables a just and sustainable transition, with particular attention to the challenges facing developing countries.
30 AUGUST 2021
PANEL 1 – 13:00-14:00 CEST
Policy Roundtable | Stakeholder perspectives on a Global treaty on plastics pollution: Priorities for transforming the global plastics economy
This Policy Roundtable opens the two-day virtual conference and is part of the second series of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues. Leading experts speaking at this session will highlight the importance of tackling the strong economic and political forces driving the expanding global plastics economy and associated pollution; the need for multi-stakeholder approaches; and the benefits of strengthened cooperation among the range of international organizations and multilateral processes that have a role to play in reducing plastic pollution.
PANEL 2 – 14:15 – 15:30 CEST
Understanding the global plastics economy and plastic pollution: Trends and forecasts
PANEL 3 – 15:45-16:45 CEST
Financing the global plastics economy: Investment, insurance and subsidies
PANEL 4 – 17:00 – 18:00 CEST
Strategies for transforming the global plastics economy to reduce plastic plastic pollution: green industrial policies, financial levers, and development dimensions
31 AUGUST 2021
PANEL 5 – 13:00-14:15 CEST
Harnessing trade policies to tackle plastic pollution: policy options, opportunities and recent developments
PANEL 6 – 14:30- 15:30 CEST
Governing petrochemicals: the dual challenges of decarbonizing the plastics economy and phasing out virgin plastic production
PANEL 7 – 15:45 – 16:45 CEST
Emerging developments and challenges in global plastics governance: International standards, private-public partnerships and voluntary initiatives
PANEL 8 – 17:00 – 18:00 CEST
Transforming the plastics economy through circularity: Opportunities and critical perspectives
This conference will bring together leading experts to share policy-relevant research and advance dialogue on topics, including:
- the global political economy of production, use and trade in plastic products and waste;
- options to improve the global governance of plastic pollution across the life-cycle of plastics;
- the development impacts of plastic pollution, including on the ocean economy and the challenges developing countries face as they seek to reduce plastic pollution and transform the plastics economy;
- strategies for transforming the supply side of the plastics sector, including critical insights from calls for a global green new deal as well as opportunities and challenges linked to circular economy approaches and the push to decarbonize petrochemicals;
- the impact of international trade and investment flows on plastic pollution, as well as existing international efforts and options for using trade, investment and industrial policies to support international environmental cooperation on plastic pollution; and
- the role of standards as a governance tool for transforming the plastics sector, as well as opportunities and governance challenges linked to private, voluntary efforts to reduce plastic pollution.
Spread over two afternoons, the online conference will include:
- Panel sessions with short presentations from leading researchers and experts; and
- Policy roundtables, drawing together leading experts from governments, stakeholder organisations and IGOs, working to support intergovernmental cooperation on plastic pollution at UNCTAD, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS), the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), among others.
More information about the agenda and speakers will be available in early August.
The conference is the culmination of a two-year project on multi-disciplinary policy-relevant research and dialogue on the global political economy and regulation of plastic production and pollution, funded by the Swiss Network of International Studies (SNIS) in 2019.
Co-hosted by the Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre and UNCTAD, with the financial support of the SNIS, the cosponsors of this conference include researchers from a range of collaborating organisations including the Graduate Institute’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) and Centre for International Environmental Studies (CIES), as well as the University of Geneva, the University of Berne’s World Trade Institute, the University of Lugano, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Western Switzerland, Lund University, and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
The conference is also supported by a number of organisations working to improve the global governance of plastic pollution, including the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), UNEP’s Environment and Trade Hub, the Geneva Environment Network (GEN), and the Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS).
The event will take place online. Kindly register directly through the link below.
- Global Governance of Plastic Pollution: Transforming the Global Plastics Economy | GGC@IHEID, UNCTAD & partners
- How can international trade policy help tackle plastic pollution? DR. Carolyn Deere Birkbeck and Mahesh Sugathan | Global Governance Centre
- Research project on transforming the global plastics economy
- Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs (TESS)
- Global Governance Centre at Graduate Institute
- Geneva Trade Platform
- Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
- Plastics and the Environment | Geneva Environment Network
- It’s Time for Global Action to Eliminate Plastic Pollution | PEW | 10 June 2021
- Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues on Plastics and Trade | Geneva Environment Network | 4 February 2021
- Global trade in plastics: insights from the first life-cycle trade database | Diana Barrowclough, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck & Julien Christen | UNCTAD Research Paper | December 2020
- Trade and trade policy in the fight against plastic pollution: What are the challenges and opportunities? | UNCTAD | 30 September 2020
- Research Paper – The Political Economy of the Global Plastics Economy and Pollution: Production, Trade and Governance | Diana Barrowclough and Carolyn Deere Birkbeck | 9 January 2020
- Policy Brief – Strengthening international cooperation to tackle plastic pollution: options for the WTO | Carolyn Deere Birkbeck | 9 January 2020