International, Latest News, News

Ministers agree on global marine plastic pollution framework ahead of G20 Osaka Summit

Environment and energy ministers have agreed to tackle global marine plastic pollution with the implementation of new framework, ahead of the G20 Osaka Summit in Japan.

On Sunday, the Japanese government confirmed the decision, made by 20 ministers at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, which was co-organised by the Ministry of the Environment and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Japanese G20 presidency.

The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU. Countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.

Under the new framework, G20 members will promote the prevention and reduction of plastic litter discharge to the oceans through various measures and international cooperation.

Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said he wanted his country to be a leader in reducing marine plastic waste by using biodegradable material and other innovations.

The announcement to tackle marine litter comes a week before the G20 Osaka Summit, which will be held on June 28-29.

Main themes of the summit include further discussions about marine plastic litter, which is described by summit organisers as an urgent challenge, given that it harms the marine ecosystem and impacts people’s health.

In order to resolve this problem, measures to address this issue need to be taken by all countries, including emerging economies, according to a statement by the summit.

Climate change will also be discussed at the summit, with a statement by the summit explaining that climate change is becoming more serious as seen by the frequent occurrence of disasters due to extreme climate all over the world in recent years.

To address climate related challenges in a global scale under the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the summit aims to push ministers to accelerate “a virtuous cycle of environment and growth” and aim to create a paradigm shift which promotes business-led innovation.

To facilitate such efforts, the aim is to create a number of innovations in the field of climate change and apply them in society.

G20 members are focussing on discussing issues such as innovation, finance mobilisation, and collaborating with non-state actors, together with addressing traditional major topics including mitigation, adaptation and climate finance.

Discussions at the G20 Osaka Summit will also focus on accelerating innovation such as hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) to boost energy transitions and sustainable growth.