Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability

7–8 July 2021 | Online


Many participants raised the need for a science-policy interface (SPI) on chemicals and wastes—noting any such body should be global, authoritative, “horizon scanning,” prestigious, independent and inclusive.

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Photo courtesy of Kiara Worth

At the virtual 2021 Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability participants considered the future structuring of global chemicals and waste management. Convened by the German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, the event included a high-level ministerial dialogue with statements from UN Secretary-General António Guterres and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 7 July.

During the high-level ministerial participants addressed three topics:

  • Health and justice
  • The 2030 Agenda and the sound management of chemicals and waste
  • Circular economy and sustainable chemistry

On 8 July, the Berlin Forum continued with a stakeholder dialogue, with participation from government, international organisation, business, and civil society group representatives. The dialogue considered the sound management of chemicals within the context of the SDGs and the science-policy Interface. Two panel sessions also convened. The first panel session considered strengthening and enhancing implementation. Panel presentations in this session focused on existing measures that need further action to be implemented universally, including the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), basic chemicals management, incorporating sound management of chemicals and wastes into national development plans. The second panel session focused on creating new paths. This panel considered new and innovative approaches (like green and sustainable chemistry) that supplement, support and reinforce effective existing measures.

Funding for ENB coverage of this Forum has been provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).


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