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New Coalition to support inclusion of Local and Subnational Governments in new Treaty against Plastic Pollution

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The Global Cities Hub (GCH) has been actively involved in addressing environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution. It has published a position paper with strategic proposals addressed to States currently negotiating the future plastic pollution treaty.

This treaty, as mandated by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), seeks to establish a comprehensive international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution by the end of 2024. The next round of negotiations (INC-4) is about to start next week in Ottawa, Canada. The negotiations will discuss the Zero Draft text, on which the GCH made specific suggestions to refer to the role of local and subnational governments in addressing plastic pollution, see here.

On April 22, 2024, in a coordinated move towards combating the global crisis of plastic pollution, the Local and Subnational Governments Coalition (LSNG Coalition) will be launched. The LSNG Coalition is comprised of local and subnational governments, city networks and other organizations. It underscores the urgent need for collective action at all levels of society and government, to address the environmental and health hazards posed by plastic pollution. With global plastic production soaring to over 460 million tons annually and a dismal 9% recycling rate, the Coalition stresses the need for robust measures to curtail plastic usage and enhance waste management systems, with a significant role to be played by local and subnational governments.

 

Why LSNGs Must Lead the Change:

 

Local and subnational governments must play a pivotal role in shaping and implementing the Plastic Pollution Treaty for the following reasons:

  1. Proximity to Communities: LSNGs are uniquely positioned to address local intricacies and translate them into national strategies. They bear the brunt of escalating plastic waste in urban environments and are essential in accessing financial resources for sustainable initiatives.
  2. Regulatory Authority: With jurisdiction-specific powers, LSNGs can enact tailored regulations to mitigate plastic pollution at the grassroots level, thereby bolstering enforcement efforts and fostering sustainable practices.
  3. Knowledge Sharing: LSNGs serve as hubs for disseminating best practices, fostering innovation, and facilitating collaboration among stakeholders, crucial for tackling plastic pollution effectively.
  4. Emissions Reduction Potential: By aligning with climate action plans, LSNGs can integrate strategies to minimize plastic-related greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the transition towards a net-zero future.
  5. Financial means: LSNGs can contribute to combat plastic pollution through investment from their own local budget or thanks to funding from central governments, international or private sources.

 

A Call to Action:

 

The LSNG Coalition urges Member States to :

  • Include LSNGs in the Negotiation Process and ensure their meaningful participation to harness their expertise and valuable local insights.
  • Recognize and Support explicitly the pivotal role of LSNGs in the treaty, in particular in relation to its implementation.
  • Follow a Comprehensive Approach by developing a robust treaty framework that addresses the entire plastic lifecycle, holds stakeholders accountable, and prioritizes waste reduction measures.

As the world fights with the mounting threat of plastic pollution, the LSNG Coalition reaffirms its commitment to spearheading transformative change at the grassroots level. Through collaborative efforts and decisive action, we can realize a future free from the scourge of plastic pollution, safeguarding the health of our planet and of future generations.For further inquiry, please contact the Global Cities Hub (info@globalcitieshub.org) and see also the LSNG Coalition website to subscribe to the statement of the coalition.