World leaders are convening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next week for the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 “Earth Summit” – the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The main priorities at Rio+20 are threefold – to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress made and where more work is needed, and, finally, to address new and emerging challenges.
Global Chemicals Management
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), representing the global chemical industry, was an active participant at the 1992 Earth Summit and has played a significant role in subsequent initiatives to promote sustainable development, including promoting safe chemicals management internationally through SAICM, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, and United National Environment Programme (UNEP) chemicals conventions.
For the global chemical industry, Rio+20 is an opportunity to promote approaches that address both existing and emerging challenges and that recognize the economic, social, and environment pillars of sustainable development as essential components of recommended policies and solutions.
Chemical manufacturers around the world are instrumental to the development, production and delivery of products and technologies that help society meet pressing global needs, including ensuring a safe and plentiful food supply and clean drinking water, protecting public health, transforming the way we use energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a cleaner environment. We hope that Rio+20 will catalyze government action toward providing the environment necessary to accelerate and intensify deployment of such innovative products and technologies, to address sustainable development goals.
ICCA strongly believes that SAICM’s innovative, multi-stakeholder structure must be at the heart of international efforts to advance sound chemicals management. SAICM remains the preferred international framework for achieving the 2020 goal for sound chemicals management set at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, and we call for SAICM to be strengthened as an outcome of Rio+20.
Leaders from the chemical industry and other key stakeholders will participate in an ICCA-sponsored panel discussion at the Business Action on Sustainable Development (BASD) “Business Day” on June 19, which will highlight the global chemical industry’s role as a solutions provider for sustainable development, outline progress under the industry’s Responsible Care and Global Product Strategy initiatives, and release an ICCA report on the industry’s contribution to sustainability.