In October 2020, the European Commission published the “Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability,” which sets up a new long-term vision for chemicals policy in the European Union (EU) and presents some of the most potentially transformative initiatives of the past twenty years. The Strategy should help to achieve “a toxic-free environment,” as established in the “zero pollution ambition” of the European Green Deal.
The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), a member of the EDC-Free Europe campaign, has today published an analysis that focuses on the global policy aspects of the Strategy. The in-depth report lays out the EU's commitments towards global chemicals management and details practical steps to achieve these commitments over the next few years.They include:
- Ensuring that hazardous chemicals banned in the EU are not produced for export;
- Having a leading role and promoting the implementation of existing international instruments (such as the Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Minamata Conventions);
- Building capacity to assess and manage chemicals safely in third countries, including through cooperation with Africa;
- Promoting the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and introducing new criteria/hazard classes;
- Meeting the 2030 Agenda’s goals for the sound management of chemicals, and adopting strategic objectives and targets for the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (such as in the context of SAICM beyond 2020).