working group generates ideas for funding work on chemicals beyond 2020 | News | SDG Knowledge Center
A virtual working group advanced work on funding the chemicals framework beyond 2020, focusing on an integrated approach to funding for the sound management of chemicals and wastes, funding for the Secretariat and strategic partnerships. The group is part of a set of virtual workflows leading up to the fourth meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the sound management of chemicals and wastes beyond 2020 and the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5).
the VWG met four times at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021: the November 18, December 16, January 20 and February 10. Discussions incorporated previously compiled recommendations and proposals and stakeholder comments. This summary provides an overview of the discussions of the first three meetings.
GEF-8 should build on established areas of international interest, such as lead in paint, highly hazardous pesticides, and single-use plastics.
Regarding a integrated approach funding, the working group participants stressed the need for adequate, predictable and sustainable funding to achieve both the SDGs and the goals and targets of the Beyond 2020 agreement. To this end, they discussed the integration, private sector participation and dedicated external funding.
Participants generally supported a proposal to establish a clearing-house mechanism to track development assistance, potential funding sources and information sharing. Some said the mechanism should be independently reviewed and verified through good accounting practice. Some expressed concerns about the feasibility of such a mechanism, noting that it would require a lot of resources. One participant suggested that the Secretariat could act as an intermediary to match initiatives requiring funding with potential donors.
The group stressed the crucial importance of integration the sound management of chemicals and wastes in national development plans, national budgets and relevant sector policies. Participants highlighted the role of the private sector and the financial sector in supporting such integration and ensuring sound management throughout the life cycle of chemicals and wastes. An industry representative called for establishing fee-based chemicals management systems in each country to achieve integration. A developing country said creating an obligation to integrate sound chemicals and waste management into national laws and regulations may not be possible without adequate financial resources, technical assistance and capacity.
Participants agreed that private sector involvement is essential and underscored the need for governments to encourage the private sector to take greater responsibility and increase its contributions, for example by developing cost recovery legislation. Participants also supported:
- Define chemical safety responsibilities at production sites and in the supply chain;
- Implement the principles of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and polluter pays, and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS);
- Fees and taxes for the private sector; and
- Quantify voluntary and mandatory actions and map them to identify existing contributions and associated actions.
The African group has proposed a financial contribution of 0.5% of the annual turnover of the chemical industry to a multilateral fund to support the Secretariat and work plans.
At Capacity Building, stakeholders suggested establishing internationally recognized levels of achievement to incentivize stronger implementation of chemicals management. The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) has proposed a capacity building clearinghouse mechanism for capacity building efforts, monitoring progress and generating additional funds. A small group discussed in more detail proposal and participation of the private sector.
Participants generally agreed to establish strategic partnerships to support the implementation of the Beyond 2020 framework. They called for transparency, guiding principles and criteria as key elements for conducting and evaluating partnerships.
At dedicated external funding, participants agreed that ICCM5 could convey its needs to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UNEP Special Program on supporting the implementation of the Beyond 2020 process. They said the GEF Eighth Replenishment should prioritize building established areas of international concern, such as lead in paint, highly hazardous pesticides, single-use plastic, imports of hazardous waste and export of banned substances. Participants supported extending the duration of the special program.
Many also expressed interest in exploring resource mobilization strategies to leverage different types of external finance and ways to increase multi-stakeholder and multi-sector access to finance. Some supported the creation of a new international fund. Others said that the Special Program is functioning effectively and that creating a new financial mechanism would require additional management costs. Participants highlighted that while the GEF and the Special Program provide direct support to SAICM, the overall chemicals program is also supported by other MEA financial mechanisms.
At Secretariat funding, stakeholders approved the voluntary approach to contributions. Some stressed the need to provide an indicative benchmark for government contributions, such as the United Nations proposed scale of assessments. Participants supported the expansion of the proposal Resource mobilization strategy going beyond funding the Secretariat to cover the implementation of the future framework, and focused on mobilizing domestic resources to implement future work.
At cost recovery mechanisms and other economic instruments, participants stressed the need to find solutions at the national level through the establishment of cost recovery mechanisms, rules on “polluter pays” liability or a paid chemicals management system. Participants stressed the need to use existing tools developed by stakeholders to help guide countries in transition and developing countries in the establishment of such mechanisms.
The recommendations of the working group are expected to be discussed at IP4 and ICCM5, which were to meet in person in the first half of 2021 but were recently postponed.