On July 7 and 8, 2021, over 800 participants from governments, businesses, and civil society organizations met virtually for the Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability. The German government organized the event in preparation for the twice-postponed 5th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5). Speakers, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, expressed hopes that the Forum could lay the groundwork for ICCM5 when it can take place, and they encouraged continued policy work on the safety of chemicals around the world.
Germany, Denmark, and the UK pledged more funding for the United Nations Environmental Program’s Special Program on Institutional Strengthening for the Chemicals Cluster. Katrin Schneeberger, Director of Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, announced that the country will submit a resolution during the next meeting of the UN Environment Assembly to establish a science-policy body for chemicals and waste, comparable to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There have been calls in recent months for the development of such a body (FPF reported).
International Institute for Sustainable Development (July 2021). “Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability.” Earth Negotiations Bulletin