The United Nations on Wednesday passed a landmark deal that will create the world’s first global carbon-reduced plastic pollution treaty, in what has been hailed as the most significant of its kind since the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Member States engaged in more than one week of talks in NaiRobi in order to agree on basic points of a pact to confront rapidly rising plastic pollution, an environmental crisis that has stretched from drainage ditches of the ocean to mountain peaks.

Government representatives cheered and tapped after a resolution passed to adopt a legally binding treaty for plastic pollution, due to be implemented by 2024.

“We’re making history today and you should all be proud,” said Espen Barth Eide, President of the United Nations Environment Protection Council.

The resolution, described as ‘the most important environmental agreement since the Paris Agreement’by the UNEA, is drawn up broadly and an intergovernmental committee is now charged with negotiating an agreement that will have ripple effects on businesses and economies around the world.

Any agreement limiting the production, use or design of plastics would affect oil and chemical companies involved in providing raw plastics and consumer products giants that sell thousands of products in single-use wrappers.

The economies of the major plastics-producing nations would also be affected, amongst them the United States, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

Polls from Ipsos published earlier this month showed overwhelming public support for a UN treaty on plastic pollution, and delegates celebrated what they had achieved in Nairobi.

Espen Barth Eide

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Espen Barth Eide is a Norwegian politician and political scientist. He is currently serving as the Minister of Climate and the Environment in Jonas Gahr Støre’s government. (wikipedia)

United Nations

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, (wikipedia)