Chemicals & Wastes

When used improperly or disposed of unsafely, chemicals pose significant risks for both the environment and human health. Toxic chemicals are found in all ecosystems on Earth, including Antarctica and the most remote seas, affecting biodiversity, agricultural production, water quality, and human health. Over 100 million man-made chemicals and chemical formulations are used in every sector of the industrial economy. Many chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury, travel over large distances through air, water currents, and in migratory species. Some POPs can remain in the human body for more than 50 years. Mercury, an element, is infinitely persistent. While chemicals and waste are major contributors to world economies, their sound management is essential to avoiding risks to human health and ecosystems and substantial costs to national economies.

Events and Articles

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18th Meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-18)

The Chemical Review Committee faced a lengthy agenda as it reviewed a dozen hazardous chemicals and pesticides to determine if they should be listed under the Rotterdam Convention’s prior informed consent procedure, which could limit their trade, if deemed necessary to protect human health and the environment.
Event 19 September 2022 - 23 September 2022

Can Global Chemicals Governance Help Phaseouts in Other Sectors?

“Forever chemicals,” aka PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are now mainstream news (for example in the Washington Post and on BBC). Yet, comprehensive discussion of the impacts of chemicals on our environment and health tends to be confined to dedicated outlets and niche literature.
Article

62nd Meeting of the GEF Council

GEF Council Members endorsed the more than USD 5 billion replenishment for the next four-year period of the GEF and adopted Work Programs worth more than USD 238 million, launching projects that will contribute to a green and blue recovery and direct significant resources to small island developing States and least developed countries.
Event 21 June 2022 - 23 June 2022

Face-to-Face Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS COPs)

The Basel Convention flexed its institutional muscle, while the Rotterdam Convention managed to add just two of the seven chemicals proposed to its prior informed consent procedure. The Stockholm Convention continued to list new chemicals, but it now faces the downstream consequences of that success: new chemicals bring added implementation challenges.
Conference of the Parties (COP) 6 June 2022 - 17 June 2022