Businesses can affect 2012 global development summit

31 March 2010 23:46  [Source: ICIS news]

BALTIMORE, Maryland (ICIS news)--A series of meetings will give chemical businesses a way to influence the global sustainable development summit in Brazil in 2012, an official with a US business advocacy group said on Wednesday.

The preparatory committee meetings ­– the first of which takes place in New York in mid-May – offers chemical businesses a chance to affect the agenda for the summit in Rio de Janeiro, Norine Kennedy, vice president of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the US Council for International Business (USCIB), told industry representatives at the Global Chemical Regulations Conference in Baltimore.

USCIB wants the conference to result in concrete actions, addressing a review of implementation, international governance, green economy, and water issues, Kennedy said.

The Rio summit will also mark the end of the first period of commitment for the Kyoto Protocols and the end of the Marrakech process for sustainable consumption and production, among other global initiatives, Kennedy said.

The UN also will be debating restructuring its own environmental oversight functions. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) implementation cycle for 2010-2011 will consider chemical management, transportation, waste management and mining, she added.

Meanwhile, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICAA) aims to adopt global principles for safe management of chemicals by 2020, said Gregory Bond, corporate director of product responsibility at Dow Chemical and co-chair of the ICCA Chemicals Policy and Health Leadership Group.

This process started after a conference in Johannesburg in 2002 called for a plan for the sound management of chemicals to minimize harm to humans and the environment, Bond said.

In response, ICAA created the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in 2006, a policy framework focusing on risk reduction, information sharing, good governance, capacity building and technical cooperation, and prevention of illegal international traffic.

The globalization of markets requires improved cooperation of the world’s chemical management systems. This fosters public confidence in chemicals, Bond stated.

By harmonising chemical management systems, governments could save time and money and level the playing field for international competition, Bond added.

To assist with those goals, the ICAA chemical management system would leverage and build upon existing frameworks.

Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives in Green Chemistry
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By: Mickey McCarter
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