In a press release published on March 11, 2019, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced the launch of the Synthesis Report of the Global Chemicals Outlook II (GCO II). The Summary for Policy Makers was released last month as a working document for the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (FPF reported), and the full GCO II report is set to be published in April 2019. More information on the project and links to available documents in multiple languages are available on the GCO II project website.

Prepared with the support of over 400 scientists and experts from around the world, the GCO II aims to summarize the current state of chemical pollution and highlight areas needing further progress. The report finds that “international treaties and voluntary instruments have reduced the risks of some chemicals and wastes, but progress has been uneven and implementation gaps remain.” The global chemical industry was valued at “US $5 trillion in 2017 and is projected to double by 2030.” The report finds that “countries will not meet the internationally agreed goal to minimize the adverse impacts of chemicals and waste by 2020, meaning that urgent action is required to reduce further damage to human health and economies.”

Read more

UNEP (March 11, 2019). “UN report: Urgent action needed to tackle chemical pollution as global production is set to double by 2030.

UNEP (March 2019). “Global Chemicals Outlook II: From Legacies to Innovative Solutions.

Leigh Stringer (March 12, 2019). “Global goal for chemicals will not be achieved, says UN report.Chemical Watch

Jonathan Watts (March 12, 2019). “Surge in chemical use ‘a threat to health and environment.’The Guardian

HEAL (March 13, 2019). “Global goal to minimize negative health impacts of chemicals will not be achieved by 2020, says UN.

Leigh Stringer (March 21, 2019). “Unea4 adopts resolutions to push forward sound management of chemicals.Chemical Watch


UNEP (March 11, 2019). “Global Chemicals Outlook II: From Legacies to Innovative Solutions – Synthesis Report (2019).(pdf)