Mohammed Khashashneh, Stockholm Convention COP9 President, and Carlos Martin-Novella, Deputy Executive Secretary, BRS Secretariat, consult with the EU
Delegates to the 2019 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COP) to the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions worked through a packed agenda on Friday, as they resumed work under the Basel Convention, sought to conclude the work of the Stockholm Convention, and addressed some of the outstanding issues of joint concern to at least two of the three Conventions.
In the morning, participants discussed work undertaken intersessionally by expert working groups, including on the development of guidelines for environmentally sound management and work on technical guidelines on: e-waste; incineration on land and specially engineered landfill; and waste lead-acid batteries. While this technical work was welcomed by delegates, some non-governmental organizations called for additional work to close loopholes and otherwise strengthen guidelines to promote best environmental practices.
Stockholm Convention COP9 convened in the afternoon and took a series of decisions, including one that reduces the number of exemptions and acceptable purposes for continued production and use of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts, and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF). Delegates also adopted a decision to list perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds in Annex A (elimination) of the Convention. Notably, COP9 agreed to a request for additional exemptions for continued production and use. Several delegates were disappointed by the agreement to allow these exemptions, which had not been recommended by the POPs Review Committee. One industry observer emphasized that the substances are being phased out in large parts of the world and are not necessary, and several civil society organizations highlighted the negative impact of PFOA on human health and the environment. More broadly, several worried that introduction of exemption requests at the COP undermines the science-based review process of the Convention.
With those decisions, Stockholm Convention COP9 was suspended until Friday, 10 May, when it will reopen for adoption of a decision on the budget and programme of work, as well as other outstanding issues. Basel Convention COP14 will resume on Saturday.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the 2019 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. The summary and analysis report is available in HTML and PDF.
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