Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee on Plastic Pollution

In March 2022, the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) decided to work towards an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution.  IUCN will engage in the negotiations providing science-based expertise and evidence to ensure the development of a robust instrument with high environmental integrity.

Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution illustration imagePhoto: Choo Yut Shing - Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) was established to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, beginning its work in the second half of 2022 with the ambition of completing its work by the end of 2024.

The outcome of the negotiations needs to be a broad instrument - with obligations, measures and voluntary approaches, including a financial mechanism with stable and predictable financial resources for implementation - integrated across sectors and value chains, and one that considers the entire lifecycle of plastic. Further, this legally binding instrument needs to include marine, land and water plastic pollution, promote sustainable production and consumption of plastics through, among other things, product design and environmentally sound waste management, including through resource efficiency and circular economy approaches and thus rely on several SDGs.

Solving the complex INC mandate will require strong, science-based engagement from stakeholders positioned across the value chain of plastics production, manufacture, use, recycling, and disposal – at sub-national, national, regional and global level.

IUCN has played a key role globally in helping identify, raise awareness, and provide tools to assess the impacts and sources of plastic pollution. For the INC, IUCN will put forward its expertise in international negotiations and its work on plastics and circular economy initiatives locally, regionally and globally, to ensure strong global plastic treaty.

The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC-1)

The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) will take place in hybrid format from 28 November to 2 December, in Punta del Este, Uruguay, with a Multi-stakeholder Forum planned to take place on 26 November, and regional consultations and bureau meeting to be held on 27 November. 

IUCN will have a delegation attending the INC-1 conference in Punta del Este (in-person and on-line). Building trust and consensus among a diverse range of stakeholders, identifying feasible policy options and, critically, fostering a culture of delivery and action that accelerates early and sustainable implementation, will be IUCN’s essential contributions to the INC.

In this context, IUCN’s role at the Multi-Stakeholder Forum and at INC-1 will be focused on its expertise, knowledge-products, ongoing projects and evidence and to ensure that the focus of the negotiations remains on achieving a robust instrument with high environmental integrity.