Reflections on the Fourth Round of Negotiations for the Global Plastics Treaty at INC4: Progress and Challenges

The Fourth Round of Negotiations for the Global Plastics Treaty, convened during the International Negotiation Conference 2024 (INC4), marks a pivotal moment in the global fight against plastic pollution. Delegates from around the world converged to deliberate the treaty terms, signaling a united commitment to address one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

Central to the discussions was the recognition of the need for a comprehensive and inclusive approach to tackling plastic pollution throughout its lifecycle, from production and consumption to waste management and recycling. This holistic perspective, aiming to target interventions across all stages of the plastics value chain, is necessary for significant and lasting impact.

Significant support for this holistic approach from global civil society movement and the more than 65 countries of the “High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution” (HAC). The HAC has two Arab members, UAE and Jordan. Unfortunately, several other countries do not support this holistic approach, including the United States, Iran, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, worrying that a holistic approach can reduce the demand on plastic, and affect their petrochemical industry.

As negotiations progress, the interplay between national economic interests and global environmental needs is increasingly apparent. IndyACT, as a member of the Break Free from Plastics Coalition and GAIA, and together with a growing number of Arab civil society are calling on all Arab countries to prioritize the need to end plastic pollution, and support a holistic approach to dealing with the plastic crisis, throughout its value chain. Plastic production needs to be reduced and made safer.

After this negotiation session in Canada, governments will meet again and for the final time in South Korea, during INC5, to finalize the plastic agreement end of 2024.

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