Ottawa Hosts Crucial Talks on Global Plastic Pollution Treaty

This week, Ottawa is hosting a crucial meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), where global representatives are gathering to develop a legally binding treaty to combat plastic pollution and its devastating impact on the marine environment. Among the participants is Mahibere Hiwot for Social Development (MSD), an organization accredited by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The primary goal of INC-4 is to finalize the treaty’s text by November, with a focus on drastically reducing the use of problematic and avoidable plastics. According to Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, there is growing consensus on eliminating non-essential plastic applications, while acknowledging the ongoing need for plastics in areas like renewable energy technologies.

Canadian Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault emphasized the significance of a global treaty, stating that an agreement by the end of 2024 would be a landmark environmental achievement, marking the first international accord to unite efforts against plastic pollution.

The discussions are particularly critical for African nations, including Ethiopia, where the need to combat plastic pollution is urgent due to its severe health and environmental impacts. Effective collaboration among governments, civil society, the private sector, and local communities is essential to address this pressing issue.

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