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World pledges to protect polluted, degraded planet as it adopts blueprint for more sustainable future

March 21, 2019

World pledges to protect polluted, degraded planet as it adopts blueprint for more sustainable future

Nairobi, 15 March 2019 –The fourth UNEA has concluded its five-day session. The session laid the groundwork for a radical shift to a more sustainable future. Ministers from more than 170 United Nations Member States delivered a bold blueprint for change, saying the world needed to speed up moves towards a new model of development where innovation will be harnessed to tackle environmental challenges, the use of throwaway plastics will be significantly reduced, and development will no longer cost the earth.

Delegates commit to improving national resource management strategies through integrated full life cycle approaches and analyses to achieve a resource-conserving low carbon economy; Promoting sustainable food systems through resilient agricultural systems; Addressing poverty through sustainable management of natural resources; Facilitate the use and sharing of environmental data. Ministers also agreed to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic products by 2030.

To address critical knowledge gaps, ministers promised to work towards producing comparable international environmental data while improving national monitoring systems and technologies. They also expressed support for UN Environment’s efforts to develop a global environmental data strategy by 2025.

At the close of the Assembly, delegates adopted a series of non-binding resolutions, covering the logistics of shifting to a business-unusual model of development.

These included a recognition that a more circular global economy, in which goods can be reused or repurposed and kept in circulation for as long as possible, can significantly contribute to sustainable consumption and production.

Other resolutions said Member States could transform their economies through sustainable public procurement and urged countries to support measures to address food waste and develop and share best practices on energy-efficient and safe cold chain solutions.

Resolutions also addressed using incentives, including financial measures, to promote sustainable consumption while encouraging Member States to end incentives for unsustainable consumption and production where appropriate.

A key focus of the meeting was the need to protect oceans and fragile ecosystems. Ministers adopted a number of resolutions on marine plastic litter and microplastics, including a commitment to establish a multi-stakeholder platform within UN Environment to take immediate action towards the long-term elimination of litter and microplastics.

Read more at UN news centre

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