Plastic waste treaty: expert Q&A on the promise of a global agreement to reduce pollution

The flow of plastic entering the ocean is expected to double by 2040. To prevent this tsunami of difficult-to-decompose waste, experts have proposed a global treaty which could oblige all nations to reduce how much plastic they produce and emit to the environment.

At a recent meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, ministers and representatives from 173 countries agreed on the terms for negotiating such a treaty over the next two years.

Is this the turning point for plastic pollution the world needs? And how will it work? We asked Steve Fletcher, a professor of ocean policy and economy at the University of Portsmouth and an advisor to the UN Environment Prograamme on plastic.

What has actually been agreed in Nairobi?

The UNEA is a gathering of all United Nations member states to discuss and adopt policies for tackling global environmental problems. It is the highest environmental decision-making body in the world. On Wednesday March 2 2022, ministers and representatives from 173 countries formally adopted a resolution to start negotiations for a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution.

A large model of a tap pouring plastic waste onto the ground is suspended in the air before a conference centre.
The three-day UNEA meeting brought countries together to discuss turning off the plastic tap. EPA-EFE/Daniel Irungu

Agreeing the mandate and focus of the negotiations is just the start. Before the end of 2024, the substance of the agreement will need to be thrashed out.

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What The Ozone Layer Teaches Us About Climate Action

06 APR, 2021

when it comes to the Paris Agreement and climate action; namely that when individuals change their behaviour by consuming differently they can drive industries to change, as those industries are then caught between a ‘greening’ consumer demand and international and governmental policies focusing on climate action. 


Credit: NOAA / Unsplash

Back in the 1980s, everyone was talking about the hole in the ozone layer, so what happened, and what can the international agreement to ban CFCs teach us about the importance of multilateral cooperation when it comes to climate action?

What exactly is the ozone layer?

The ozone layer is the part of the Earth’s atmosphere that protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation. It’s found in the Stratosphere which is around 10-50km above the surface of the earth. Think of it as a layer of sunscreen that protects us from all manner of harmful rays. Without it, life on Earth would be extremely unpleasant.

So, I’m guessing a hole in it is not a good thing

Exactly right, in fact it’s a very bad thing.

So what caused it?

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Xin từng giờ cho thể thao khuyết tật…

HUY ĐĂNG – TẤN PHÚC 16/08/2022 06:16 GMT+7

TTCT Các hoạt động thể thao người khuyết tật hiện vẫn gần như dựa hoàn toàn vào các nỗ lực tư nhân và cá nhân.

“Mơ ước của tôi là mỗi hiệp hội, liên đoàn đều dành ra một ngày thế này cho các em. Như vậy, mỗi tháng hay thậm chí mỗi tuần các em khuyết tật đều có một ngày hội thể thao sôi động”, ông Lý Đại Nghĩa thổ lộ khi tổ chức ngày hội hockey dành cho người khuyết tật trí tuệ hồi tháng 7.

Xin từng giờ cho thể thao khuyết tật… - Ảnh 1.

Một thành viên CLB hockey của ông James Chew hướng dẫn hockey cho người khuyết tật. Ảnh: H.Đ.

Không lâu sau khi tổ chức sự kiện này, ông Nghĩa lên đường dự Para Games 2022 với tư cách lãnh đội của đoàn TP.HCM. Vì ảnh hưởng của đại dịch, kỳ Para Games lần thứ 10 (theo lịch diễn ra tại Philippines năm 2019) đã bị hủy bỏ. Sau 5 năm, cộng đồng người khuyết tật mới lại có một sự kiện lớn để tranh tài.

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Laos economic crisis intensifies amid massive Chinese debt

DW – 09.08.2022 – Enno Hinz

Laos is facing one of its worst economic crises in decades, with the country experiencing galloping inflation and staring at a debt default.   

Inflation in Laos has hit a 22-year high, causing a scarcity of essential commodities like fuel

Laos’ economy has been on the brink of collapse due to a spiraling debt crisis that is crippling the country’s finances and bringing it perilously close to default.

In June, the Southeast Asian nation’s Statistics Bureau announced that inflation hit a 22-year high of 23.6%, causing staple goods to become scarce and eroding the population’s purchasing power.

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