The Geneva Environment Network’s weekly newsletter includes the latest information on the global environmental agenda, main eventsjob vacancies, learning opportunities, as well as other useful resources and updates. Stay tuned and follow us also on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Youtube, or visit our website regularly for additional updates.

Image of the weekBriefing on the 2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to Develop an International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution (Plastic Pollution INC-2), 27 April 2023, International Environment House II.

2023 Meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The 2023 meetings of the Conference of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions kick off this week in Geneva, under the theme Accelerating action: Targets for the sound management of chemicals and waste. Follow the live coverage from the Earth Negotiation Bulletin and other useful information in our update on the meetings.

Events of interest taking place this week include:

Decent Work and Nature-based Solutions

This week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Geneva Environment Network, with the support of NetworkNature and the EU Commission, are organizing an event on Decent Work in Nature-based Solutions, building on the outcomes of the first report in a biennial global series on work and employment in the emerging nature conservation and restoration economy, co-developed by ILO, UNEP, and IUCN. The event will focus on the role that Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can and do play in creating employment and decent work – particularly for low-income communities and those in vulnerable situations. Panelists will discuss the sectoral and geographical distribution of green jobs in NbS. They will detail the complexity of green job creation and will outline a framework for measurement. Sharing concrete examples, panelists will also discuss the important vehicles and instruments that will smooth the path for green job growth. → Register to join us online on 4 May 2023 at 15:00 CEST.

Towards the Plastics Treaty | Countdown for Paris

With the closing of registrations to participate on 28 April 2023, the countdown for the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2), taking place from 29 May to 2 June 2023 in Paris, officially begins. While the INC Secretariat continues to release documents for the participants, various events in Geneva and beyond are amplifying their outreach and contributing to set the tone for what negotiators will address in Paris. These include:

  • Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues | On 27 April, the Geneva Environment Network hosted a briefing on INC-2 where stakeholders shared their aspirations about the negotiations in Paris and beyond, converging on the expectation to see a clear zero draft, with mandates and structures that allow for member states to prepare for substantive negotiations, and for a greater space for groups to contribute to the development of the treaty. → Rewatch the session and stay tuned for the upcoming summary of the event.
  • High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution | The Governments of Uruguay, Norway, and Rwanda will host a side event to the 2023 BRS COPs “Plastics Treaty and the BRS COPs” to launch the Report Global Governance of Plastics and Associated Chemicals, and discuss how to eliminate and restrict plastic chemicals of concern. → Register for the event taking place on 2 May 2023 at 13:15.
  • INC Secretariat Webinars | The series of Technical Webinars organized by the INC Secretariat will include this week the rescheduled Technical Briefing on the Potential Options for Elements document, on 4 May, from 14:00 to 15:00 CEST, and the Science informing decision-making session drawing examples from existing instruments to build a science-based treaty. → Register to attend the events on Webex.

Recent news, resources, and updates of interest include:

  • Nigeria joins the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution as its 52nd Member.
  • Finance for fossils – The role of public financing in expanding petrochemicals | Jakob Skovgaard et al. | May 2023
    The petrochemical industry, majorly engaged in plastics production, is strongly supported by public finance, which strongly contributes to the carbon lock-in of the sector and limits the possibilities for low-carbon investments needed to comply with the UN Paris Agreement.
  • Wasteland – Europe’s plastic disaster | Investigate Europe | 27 April 2023
    The investigation exposes failings in EU efforts to achieve a circular economy and details how unchecked production and use are creating a plastic waste crisis across the continent.
  • The U.N. is Negotiating a Treaty that Could Solve the Plastic Problem. Here’s What You Need to Know (Video) | The Story of Stuff Project | 22 April 2023
    Breaking down the treaty negotiations process, this video offers an overview of its importance across the world and calls for public pressure to ensure a strong treaty is delivered.
  • The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) reiterated last week its previous recommendations on the ongoing plastic crisis and the importance of the effective participation of Indigenous Peoples in the negotiations of the United Nations Environment Assembly international treaty to tackle the crisis. The Permanent Forum welcomed the discussions of the Human Rights Council on the matter at its fifty-second session.

Deep Seabed Mining and the International Seabed Authority

As the countdown drops to the Deep Sea Mining vote in July at the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the Geneva Graduate Institute, IUCN, and the Research Institute For Sustainability – Potsdam are hosting an event to present the topic of deep seabed mining to a broader audience, including discussing the mandate and ongoing work of the ISA, alongside the many associated concerns and tensions among member states and stakeholders, on 3 May 2023. → More information about the session.

What (Else) to Read Next?

  • Water crisis: where is the political leadership? | Geneva Solutions | 28 April 2023
    Water has an intrinsic political dimension, which if left unaddressed will hinder the achievement of the Water Action Agenda agreed upon during the UN Water Conference in March 2023. Mark Zeitoun, director general of the Geneva Water Hub, affirms it is lacking in political leadership.
  • Cern entices authorities over gigantic collider with green arguments | Geneva Solutions | 28 April 2023
    Cern’s project to build a particle collider by 2040 will have to pass geological constraints and pose no environmental harm to receive the green light. To plead its case, Cern is focusing its argument on energy, claiming the collider could provide energy to the surrounding area. 
  • Carbon Capture and Storage: Frequently Asked Questions | CIEL | 26 April 2023
    Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is purported to collect or “capture” carbon dioxide generated by high-emitting activities and is therefore commonly proposed as a technology to help meet global energy and climate goals. However, CCS does not address the core drivers of the climate crisis or meaningfully reduce greenhouse emissions, and should not distract from real climate solutions.
  • Ethiopia: Companies Long Ignored Gold Mine Pollution | Human Right Watch | 26 April 2023
    Despite clear health implications connected to mine pollution, gold mine companies have not taken action to curb pollution and continued violating the local population’s rights to health and to a clean, healthy, and safe environment. 
  • Demand for electric cars is booming, with sales expected to leap 35% this year after a record-breaking 2022 | IEA |26 April 2023
    The global auto industry is undergoing a sea change, with implications for the energy sector, as electrification is set to avoid the need for 5 million barrels of oil a day by 2030. According to the report announced battery manufacturing projects would be more than enough to meet demand for electric vehicles to 2030 announced battery manufacturing projects would be more than enough to meet demand for electric vehicles to 2030 in the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario.
  • Guinea-Bissau accedes to the Aarhus Convention, opening new horizons for environmental democracy in Africa and worldwide | UNECE | 25 April 2023
    Guinea-Bissau has acceded to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making, and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), bringing the total number of Parties to 47.
  • Franciscans at the forefront of human rights | Franciscans International | 25 April 2023
    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. On this occasion, Franciscans International sheds light on the women and men in the Franciscan family working for the respect of fundamental human rights in different regions of the world.
  • Hydrogen Made From Waste: Is It Green Or Is It Red? | GAIA | 24 April 2023
    Debunking the myth associating burning waste to produce hydrogen with sustainability, this advocacy brief gives an overview of what “waste-to-hydrogen” is and why it is problematic in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, toxic byproducts, and energy and material efficiency.
  • Europe’s air quality status 2023 | European Investigation Agency | 24 April 2023
    Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in Europe, with 97% of the urban population exposed in 2021 to concentrations of fine particulate matter above the health-based guideline level set by the World Health Organization.
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Team Assistant | G4

04 May 2023

UNEP Resources and Markets Branch

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