should provide a vital spur for top-level UN leadership and system-wide
cooperation among international organizations to champion overarching
strategic direction, goals, and priorities, galvanize political momentum,
and inspire action on the ground. Working together, they can share
expertise on what kinds of action are necessary and possible, and build
an open repository of critical scientific evidence and economic data.
Meanwhile, the exciting work ahead through five rounds of
negotiations over the next two years should not slow the urgent task of
moving forward on the suite of actions that governments, businesses,
researchers, NGOs, waste pickers, and consumers can and should take now
to tackle plastic pollution. At the national level, governments will
need to pursue an integrated full life cycle approach to national action
plans on plastic pollution, anchored in stronger coordination among the
range of relevant ministries (i.e. environment, fisheries,
urban planning, health, industry, development, finance, and trade) and multi-stakeholder involvement.
Similarly, robust, ongoing, and meaningful engagement with the
diversity of stakeholders that have done extraordinary work to put
plastic pollution on the global agenda will be vital. With their help,
we can ensure the environmental credibility, effective implementation
and measurable impact of a new international treaty and bolster the
accountability of global environmental governance.
Fredric Bauer is Associate Senior Lecturer, Lund University
Carolyn Deere Birkbeck is Director, Forum on Trade, Environment, & the SDGs (TESS)
This piece was first published on 4 March 2022 in The Global.