Readying for Rio and beyond
27 June 2012
Earlier this year, Greg Bond, Dow’s corporate director of product safety and Co-Chair of the International Council of Chemical Associations’ Chemical Policy & Health Leadership Group, headed up a Business and Industry delegation to the annual meeting of the UNEP Governing Council, a global gathering of environmental ministers from more than 180 countries.
Held in Nairobi, Kenya, the event marked the 40th anniversary of UNEP, highlighted past achievements and addressed future challenges on the run-up to the recent Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development. Under the global policy theme of “Green Economy”, the ministers discussed how global economies can truly integrate environmental and societal considerations to shape more sustainable development models for countries.
This event was of particular importance to the global chemical industry as environmental ministers debated whether to strengthen the existing global policy framework – the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) – or to develop a new “international regime for chemicals management”. A final decision on this was expected at Rio+20.
In order to influence and gauge individual country positions, Greg Bond and members of the ICCA Advocacy Task force conducted 12 bilateral discussions including the governments of the United States, Canada, China, Korea, the EU Commission, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Mexico’s Environment Minister.
The Advocacy Task Force members also held discussions with representatives from various regional agencies “to support capacity building efforts in Africa and share ICCA’s chemicals management expertise and perspective with policy leaders,” Bond noted. “By sharing information and experience, leading companies not only raise the product safety performance within the value chain, but also help governments to set targets and prioritize actions,” he added. Bond and members of the ICCA delegation also made separate interventions in several ministerial roundtables.
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, a sector with 2009 turnover of more than €1,900 billion (excluding pharmaceuticals). ICCA members account for more than 60 percent of global chemical sales. The ICCA focuses on key issues for the chemical industry, and the promotion and coordination of Responsible Care® and safe chemicals management through the Global Product Strategy. Priority advocacy issues include chemicals management, regulatory affairs, and international climate negotiations.