For Immediate Release, June 2, 2023
Julie Teel Simmonds, (619) 990-2999, email@example.com
Global Plastics Treaty Negotiations End in Paris With “Zero Draft” Still to Come
Reduced Plastic Production is Key Demand for Many Parties
PARIS— The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, or INC-2, ended today with a “zero draft” of a treaty expected before INC-3 and no sign from the U.S. of firm commitments to curb plastic production.
During the week-long negotiations, country delegates debated the rules of the negotiation process, identified options they would like to see included in a zero draft — a preliminary document that gets the ball rolling — and agreed on how to make progress between now and the next negotiating session in November.
“I’m glad the United States helped jumpstart substantive talks in Paris, but the team must come to the next session with a bold commitment to cut plastic production,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The U.S. hasn’t yet been willing to put the reduction of plastic production front and center in this treaty, and we can’t curb pollution without drastically scaling back its creation. At the next negotiations, the United States should take direct aim at the pervasive plastic that’s infiltrating every corner of our planet by hitting hard on production.”
Many country delegates and groups in attendance as observers, including the Center, expressed support for including mandatory measures in the treaty to reduce plastic production. Participants also called for prohibiting false solutions often suggested by industry representatives, such as “chemical” or “advanced” recycling that they misleadingly label “circular.”
The U.S. delegation in Paris was instrumental in resolving initial procedural debates, which focused on whether to adopt a consensus or a majority voting process throughout the negotiations. Its diplomacy helped move the negotiations into core discussions on the treaty’s potential contents. In the latter part of the week, delegates split into two groups to begin working out the treaty’s core elements, including obligations, financial mechanisms and other implementation measures.
But the United States stopped short of supporting any mandatory measures that will directly reduce plastic production and consumption and focused almost exclusively on voluntary measures and measures left to national definition.
Negotiations were marred by complaints from stakeholder groups about limited access to sessions and calls to give Indigenous Peoples and frontline and fenceline communities a bigger and more meaningful platform.
The next negotiating session, INC-3, will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2023.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.