Small Island States are going to “choke on plastic” if urgent action is not taken to protect them through the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations in Paris, an initiative has stated.
The initiative is backed by the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson and international experts, including Common Seas and Searious Business. They are calling on world leaders to prioritise island nations which are facing “climate change, increasing sea levels and plastic pollution”.
This comes after, what they describe as, a week of “slow progress” at the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations in Paris.
Grenada is among the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which is leading the call for the UN Plastics Treaty to be co-designed to protect some of what it says are the most at-risk states on the planet. Many SIDS’ economies and societies depend on their coastlines and surrounding oceans and have limited capacities to manage waste.
Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, commented: “By convening the community of SIDS, we can ensure the world listens to their needs. The trident of risks – climate change, rising sea levels and plastic – is an existential threat.
The trident of risks – climate change, rising sea levels and plastic – is an existential threat.
“We urgently need to take action and co-design a UN Plastics Treaty which protects those countries which are at the sharp end. A Treaty that works for SIDS, works for the world.”
World leaders have been meeting for the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) to negotiate the UN Plastics Treaty.
Speaking about the initiative, Grenada’s Minister of Climate Resilience, The Environment and Renewable Energy, Hon. Kerryne James, said: “As a small island nation, Grenada’s economic prosperity relies on our pristine natural environment – from tourism to the fishing and marine industries.
“We need concerted actions to combat plastic pollution, secure the livelihoods of our people and protect our precious marine biodiversity for the future.”