Quantcast

G20 Environment Ministers Agree to Tackle Marine Plastic Waste

Popular

picture-alliance / AP Photo / NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center

The Group of 20 major economies agreed a deal to reduce marine pollution at a meeting of their environment ministers on Sunday in Karuizawa, Japan.


The host nation "proposed a workable framework" on how to deal with ocean trash in emerging and less developed countries.

"I am glad that we, including emerging countries and developing countries, were able to form a broad international framework," Yoshiaki Harada, Japan's environment minister, told a news conference.

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 technological innovations.

Images of plastic debris-strewn beaches and stomachs of dead fish full of plastic materials have sparked global outrage, with environmental activists calling for stricter action to deal with the environmental hazard.

Under the agreed framework, G20 member states are tasked with promoting a comprehensive approach to prevent and reduce plastic waste discharge to the oceans and share their best practices with other nations.

Japan plans to host a follow-up meeting to review the efforts at the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue this autumn.

Stable Energy Supplies


G20 environment ministers also discussed the issue of energy security in the wake of recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, with Japan's industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, expressing concern over fuel supplies.

"From a viewpoint of global energy security, it is necessary for the international community to jointly deal with the act," Seko told the meeting, with participating countries agreeing to work together to secure stable energy supplies.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pro-environment demonstrators on the streets of Washington, DC during the Jan. 20, 2017 Trump inauguration. Mobilus In Mobili / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky

One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.

Read More
Mt. Rainier and Reflection Lake on Sept. 10, 2015. Crystal Geyser planned to open a bottling plant near Mt. Rainier, emails show. louelke - on and off / Flickr

Bottled water manufacturers looking to capture cool, mountain water from Washington's Cascade Mountains may have to look elsewhere after the state senate passed a bill banning new water permits, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
Sponsored
Large storage tank of Ammonia at a fertilizer plant in Cubatão, Sao Paulo State, Brazil. Luis Veiga / The Image Bank / Getty Images

The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.

Read More
At high tide, people are forced off parts of the pathway surrounding DC's Tidal Basin. Andrew Bossi / Wikimedia

By Sarah Kennedy

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.

But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.

Read More
Lioness displays teeth during light rainstorm in Kruger National Park, South Africa. johan63 / iStock / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Ahead of government negotiations scheduled for next week on a global plan to address the biodiversity crisis, 23 former foreign ministers from various countries released a statement on Tuesday urging world leaders to act "boldly" to protect nature.

Read More