Chemistry Runs Through All SDGs, Says UNEP Head

« Commenting on the UN General Assembly adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme said: “The SDGs are quantitatively and substantively a step ahead from what we have had before anytime in the past 30 years.”

Speaking at the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4), Mr Steiner said chemical products play a direct role in several of the SDGs.

These include clean water, good health and responsible consumption and production, however « chemistry occurs in them all.”

He added that in the past sustainable development has been dealt with through “trade offs” between industrial growth, and environment and human health.

Often though these have been unjust, resulting in different groups benefiting while others fall victim, he said. “If the world is going to sustain ten billion people … we need sustainable chemistry to ensure our footprint is reasonable.”

He added there is a need to move away from dealing with chemicals on the market, one by one. “We have to go downstream and think how we redefine the criteria we use to support sustainable chemistry and reconfigure the way governments then deploy them.”

He noted that the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) – recently announced by Germany (CW 29 September 2015) – should help in this process of moving to more intelligent and empowering approaches to sustainable chemistry. »

SDG press release :

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