At their meeting this year in May, the G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers recognised lead pollution as a burden on human health and the environment globally. They also expressed their strong commitment to reduce lead in the environment and to reduce the disproportionate lead exposure in vulnerable communities. To address the issue of global lead pollution, Ministers set in the G7 Climate Energy and Environment Ministers’ Communiqué, the task of conducting a workshop co-hosted by the EU and the USA under the German Presidency (see Paragraph 36).
The workshop toke place from 9-10 November 2022 in Berlin, Germany:
Lead as a major threat for human health and the environment – an integrated approach strengthening cooperation toward solutions.
The aim of the workshop was to take stock of activities undertaken by G7 and others to address lead pollution and develop possible options for future work and cooperation to reduce sources of lead and minimize lead exposure in developing countries. Participants from the G7 countries as well as stakeholders from non-governmental organisations, from international organisations with WHO, UNICEF, World Bank, UNEP and others, and from industry were present.
The workshop confirmed the enormous need for action to prevent and reduce lead exposure and identified measures for the main sources: unsafe recycling of used lead-acid batteries, lead in paint and lead in food and cookware. In addition to the information on the enormous burden for health from lead, the World Bank reported in its recent study that the global cost of the health effects of lead exposure is estimated at 4.6 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).
At the end of the workshop, participants from the G7 countries identified possible options for future work to reduce lead exposure in low- and middle-income countries: