NAIROBI, Kenya, March 14 (IPS) – The writer was international communications coordinator at the Greenpeace Africa Organization As Russia’s Offensive Begins Rocking Kyiv With Multiple Airstrikes and Missiles around 5 a.m., it causes dawn with dark streaks. It is accompanied by military forces in countries such as Finland and Sweden and issues a warning to anyone who may be helping the Ukrainian people – ordinary citizens who have been bereaved, more than 2.5 million displaced and boldly defend themselves – from nuclear war.
It has turned global energy markets and trade in commodities such as wheat, corn and minerals into weapons of war, in blatant violation of the prohibition on the use of force under Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations. country and customary law.
Governments, companies and ordinary citizens around the world are observing this disaster with a mixture of anger, fear and sadness.
There are also many dismayed, as the invasion of Ukraine is truly an exercise in human stupidity and futility, which will not bring us any closer to solving real problems. pain of our times.
This confrontation is turning the global market for commodities such as wheat, other grains and minerals into the storm. This is happening with food prices already flywith supply chains disrupted after more than two years of dealing with COVID-19, as well as droughts raging around the world, including 49.6% of the United States
Disruption of climate and biodiversity fuels future pandemics, wildfires, floods, pollution and other deadly disasters more likely. To be does not provide answers to these crises for billions of people, including millions of Russians and Ukrainians. This senseless war risks upsetting our common challenges and making things worse.
Simultaneously in Nairobi, about 8,000 kilometers from the Kyiv attacks, the largest coalition of government and civil society ever thought possible – including representatives from Russia and Ukraine – was preparing to do just that. completely opposite.
It’s a decisive effort by all the environment ministers in the world to save lives. It culminated on Wednesday, March 2, at the conclusion of the United Nations Environment Council, which historically passed a resolution on ending plastic pollution.
Not to reduce plastic pollution, but to end it. It is such an ambition that it can only be achieved through scientific ingenuity, political will, and – most importantly – multilateral cooperation.
Plastic pollution has become a leading concern beyond the circles of environmentalists. For nearly seven decades, plastic production increased from 2 million tons to 348 million tons.
Plastic exposure can be harmful to human health, potentially affecting fertility, hormonal, metabolic and neurological activityand open burning of plastic contributes to air pollution. Plastic waste is literally running in our blood, laboratory test confirmed.
Plastic pollution also makes climate change worse – by 2050 greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of plastics would account for 15% of allowed emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7°F).
For resource-based economies, like most African countries, plastic pollution puts a strain on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. More than 800 species of marine and coastal creatures affected by it. About 11 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. Without comprehensive action, this number will triple by 2040 and by 2050, possibly more plastic than fish in our ocean.
This plastics resolution puts us on track with an international and legally binding treaty by the end of 2024. It is important to note that, unlike a declaration of war against industry, this makes the plastics industry aware that the days they pollute our planet are numbered and signals to major consumer brands that their reliance on single-use plastics must change.
However, businesses can and must adapt. Like when the use of mercury is restricted through international consensus, dental clinics (where toxic metals are widely used) do not stop business. This is an opportunity for businesses to transform completely with the support of government initiatives on reuse and circular economy systems.
In fact, the transition to a circular economy, may reduce More than 80% of plastic goes into the oceans, and reducing virgin plastic production by 55%, will also save governments $70 billion and create 700,000 more jobs, mainly in the global south.
While the headlines were tipped off by the military strike in Ukraine, we encourage news readers to scroll down, read more about last week’s diplomatic breakthrough in Nairobi, and be inspired – like us. . Amid geopolitical uncertainty, the resolution to end plastic pollution represents multilateral cooperation at its best.
Indeed, plastic waste has grown into an epidemic. With the resolution of the world’s environment ministers, we officially entered the solution.
A green and peaceful future is within reach – as long as people ask their government to act. May this be an important reminder that while conventional warfare does not result in victory for either side, the campaign we wage together against the tri-planetary crisis on climate change , loss of nature and pollution benefits both people and the planet.
IPS UN Office
© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service