The European Commission (EC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have agreed to boost cooperation in the global reduction of pollution. The agreement was reached at the Policy Dialogue on Zero Pollution in Brussels, Belgium.
The Dialogue called for an integrated approach to addressing pollution by public and private actors. It focused on selected areas of cooperation such as the strengthening of political support and capacities for water and marine pollution reduction, promotion of the sound management of chemicals and waste, as well as addressing transboundary pollution.
Astrid Schomaker, the European Commission’s, DG Environment, Director for Global Sustainable Development noted during the dialogue that “pollution knows no borders and we must work together to achieve a cleaner and healthier future. We need to address pollution in a holistic way, nature-based solutions and moving to more circular economies, in particular, are key ways to achieving this.”
A circular lifecycle approach in high-impact sectors and value chains covering transport, construction and building, food and agriculture, electronics, textiles and plastics became crucial areas of cooperation too.
“Now is the time to consider how transformational change in key sectors of the economy can address the pollution crisis. UNEP and the EC will be working together and with the main stakeholders across key sectors where opportunities to enhance economic, social and environmental benefits can be harnessed in tandem”, underlined Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, the Director of Economy Division at UNEP.
Additional areas of combined effort have included stronger cooperation on the trade of potentially polluting products and waste, as well as developing data and knowledge to help policymakers to improve the quality of air, reduce source to sea pollution and negative health impacts.