Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke welcomes agreement at UNEA 5.2 in Nairobi
This week, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke is taking part in the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. A legally binding UN agreement to end plastic pollution of the environment and oceans is at the heart of negotiations. To this end, an intergovernmental negotiating committee will be established to flesh out a global agreement by 2024. The preliminary negotiations at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi over the weekend agreed on the draft resolution "End Plastic Pollution – Towards a Legally Binding Agreement" and set out key points regarding the new agreement’s scope of application and level of ambition. The draft resolution is to be adopted on 2 March during the UNEA plenary by the delegates of all countries.
Minister Lemke commented: "Ours oceans are overflowing with waste. The pollution of oceans with vast quantities of plastic is a serious environmental problem that is harming animals, plants and humans. This topic is therefore rightly the focus of UNEA-5. We have worked hard with like-minded countries from all over the world to take this crucial, globally agreed step to tackle the flood of plastic: a mandate for an intergovernmental negotiating committee to draw up an agreement within a few years on reducing marine litter and environmental pollution. This is a major achievement. In Germany and at European and international level, I will advocate strict and binding regulations on plastic litter and marine protection. It is good that UNEA-5 is highlighting the importance of an intact natural environment. The new German government is committed to an ambitious global biodiversity framework. Moreover, we want to make even more effective use of the synergies between climate action, nature conservation and resource conservation. I am therefore delighted that UNEA is also looking at nature-based solutions."