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| Last Updated:30/06/2020

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Resolutions passed at UN Environment assembly to make the world pollution free

NAIROBI, December 7- The United Nations Environment Assembly has passed 13 non-binding resolutions and three decisions to get the planet rid from pollutants, officials said on Thursday. On Wednesday for the first time at a UN Environment Assembly, environment ministers issued a declaration, saying nearly 200 nations would honour efforts to prevent, mitigate and manage the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans. The resolutions were moved to address marine litter and microplastics, prevent and reduce air pollution, cut out lead poisoning from paint and batteries, protect water-based ecosystems from pollution, deal with soil pollution, and manage pollution in areas hit by conflict and terrorism. We have put the fight against pollution high on top of the world's agenda," UN Environment head Erik Solheim said. "The massive support we have seen from civil society, businesses and individuals - with millions of pledges to end pollution - show that this is a global challenge with a global desire to win this battle together," he added. A total of 193 nations unanimously asked the United Nations Environment to submit a plan linked to the Sustainable Development Goals for execution by its next assembly in 2019. The participating countries committed to a pollution-free planet at the close of the UN Environment Assembly here on Wednesday, with resolutions and pledges promising to improve the lives of billions across the globe by cleaning up our air, land and water. Now, if all the resolutions and the promises are met during the summit, 1.49 billion more people will breathe clean air, 480,000 km (or around 30 per cent) of the world's coastlines will be clean, and USD 18.6 billion for research and development and innovative programmes to combat pollution.
"The science we have seen at this assembly shows we have been so bad at looking after our planet that we have very little room to make more mistakes," said Edgar Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and the President of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly. Over 4,000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials, civil society representatives, activists and celebrities gathered at the summit in Nairobi, which ran for three days. Every signatory has committed to reduce air pollution to safe levels by 2030, with Singapore promising to tighten fuel and emissions standards for vehicles, and emissions standards for industry. The global momentum comes not a moment too soon, as the UN Environment report, The Executive Director's Report: Towards a Pollution-Free Planet lays out.
Our seas already contain 500 "dead zones" with too little oxygen to support marine life. Over 80 per cent of the world's wastewater is released into the environment without treatment, poisoning the fields where we grow our food and the lakes and rivers that provide drinking water to 300 million people. A recent report by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health says that welfare losses due to pollution are estimated at over USD 4.6 trillion each year, equivalent to 6.2 per cent of global economic output. "We had two missions at this assembly," said Ibrahim Thiaw, UN Environment's deputy head.
Source: The Economic Times