This June, the UNEA sought guidance and proposals relating to the operating principles that will govern the new panel. This call for input went out to participating member states and registered stakeholders, which includes the Royal Society of Chemistry.
We swiftly engaged with members of the RSC SPP Engagement Group, which comprises independent experts in the chemical sciences from all continents, before submitting our response to the consultation. This was in the form of a list of seven principles that we believe would govern the panel’s work most effectively:
- Policy relevance
Members in the group felt that there was precedent from the work of other panels for some aspects that could be transposed and made relevant for high-level operating principles of this new SPP. They also felt that the principles should be pragmatic, practical, and not change over time.
Adoption of these principles is a testament to the value of collaborating with experts and will inspire confidence in those entrusted with finding a solution to the pollution problem. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to those chemical scientists who gave up their time to speak with us about this important topic.
This, however, is far from the only ongoing work that we believe will change the environmental impact of the chemical sciences for the better. For example, Professor Tom Welton, our Past President, this week virtually attended the second Berlin Forum on Chemicals and Sustainability, while further events offer yet more encouragement.
Governments are coming together this month in Bonn at ICCM5 (International Conference on Chemicals Management 5) to adopt a high-level declaration on the sound management of chemicals. This will be followed up in December in Jordan with OEWG2 of the SPP creation process, to continue negotiations for a new SPP on chemicals, waste, and pollution. We are participating in both of these processes, by attending the events and by working with our network of international experts to highlight scientists’ perspectives on how to manage chemicals and waste.
These activities relating to chemical waste and pollution go hand in hand with our organisational objectives. Examples of our other work in this sphere can be found on our website.