UNEA 5.2 | February 28 – March 2, 2022 | Online & In Nairobi, Kenya

 

Business and Industry extends our congratulations to you, Excellency, Member States, UNEP, and all stakeholders for steadfastly steering the global environmental agenda during these unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened our resolve, only heightened it.

We remain committed to being part of the solution. We are strengthening our actions for nature. As we play a critical role in the realization of the SDGs, we are also enhancing environmental stewardship. We welcome the proposed resolutions for UNEA 5.2 and look forward to working as partners in implementation. We are encouraged by many of you who recognize the role of the private sector.

Business supports a global framework to address plastic waste. We encourage utilization of existing forums and organizations’ platforms for discussions between Member States and the business community to test solutions, analyze data gaps and identify concrete actions that can be taken by a global agreement. Focusing on systems approaches to address plastic pollution will enable rapid scaling of innovations and investments necessary to reduce sources of leakage and increase circularity of plastics. Business strongly supports the extension of the UNEP Special Programme for sound management of chemicals. We view the SP as critical to supporting developing countries in achieving the SAICM goals.

The Business Community congratulates UNEP on its 50th anniversary and supports a strong political declaration for UNEP@50. We welcome UNEP’s policy to shift from bilateral partnerships to more engagements via platforms, networks, and campaigns to scale up business transformation. We are also encouraged by the UNEA’s Presidency recognition of the crucial role of business in realizing a sustainable future. Business is already making commitments and advancing actions in the areas of green finance, green jobs, green energy, and green businesses.

To advance climate action, business is supporting the two key goals of COP 26 – closing the climate finance gap and the need to develop and implement carbon trading mechanisms.  Industry investments in renewable energy sources and initiatives like the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero, carbon farming, the business coalition on OP2B, and the Soils Hub are contributing to meeting the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

Business supports a One Health Approach to secure human and ecosystem health. Sound regulation with enforcement and institutional capacity building, market-oriented approaches, cross-sector partnerships, voluntary efforts, and the removal of counter-productive subsidies are required.  Research and innovation have a fundamental role to play in addressing the current environmental and health crisis. Without sustained support for these activities, the international community will not be able to deliver solutions on speed and scale.   

We appreciate that resource efficiency, sound management of waste, and investments in less polluting technologies are profitable, not just for the environment but for business as well. To build resilient and sustainable food systems, business is working with smallholders to scale climate smart agriculture initiatives, promote regenerative agriculture and reduce the externalities of food production.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we wish you successful deliberations in the days ahead.

Thank you, Mr. President.