Delegates from more than 170 nations have agreed to draft the first global treaty aimed at reducing plastic waste, after a week of U.N.-brokered negotiations in Paris. Delegates to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution will review the draft agreement at their next round of talks in November. Environmental groups are calling on governments not to allow fossil fuel companies and other industry interests to water down the agreement. This is Samoa’s delegate addressing the forum on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.
Samoan delegate: “Small island developing states inherit much of the plastic waste from all across the globe despite our negligible contribution to the creation. These plastics wash upon our shores, threaten the livelihoods of our people, hinder our tourism and fisheries industries, among others, and suffocate our ecosystems. As stewards of the oceans and seas, we reiterate the urgent need for an agreement that is ambitious from the start, comprehensive across the whole life cycle of plastics, addresses legacy plastics in the marine environment, and one that becomes more robust over time.”