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G20 Environment Ministers Agree to Tackle Marine Plastic Waste

Environment and energy ministers of the Group of 20 major economies met this weekend in Karuizawa

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Ministers and delegates gather for a family photo session at G20 energy and environment ministers meeting in Karuizawa, Japan, June 15, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. VOA

Group of 20 environment ministers agreed on Sunday to adopt a new implementation framework for actions to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste on a global scale, the Japanese government said after hosting the two-day ministerial meeting.

Environment and energy ministers of the Group of 20 major economies met this weekend in Karuizawa, northwest of Tokyo, ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, on June 28-29.

One of the top issues was ocean plastic waste as images of plastic debris-strewn beaches and dead animals with stomachs full of plastic have sparked outrage, with many countries banning plastic bags outright.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wants his country to lead the world in reducing marine plastic trash, including developing biodegradables and other innovations.

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Group of 20 environment ministers agreed on Sunday to adopt a new implementation framework for actions to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste. Pixabay

The new framework is aimed at facilitating further concrete action on marine waste, though on a voluntary basis, after the G20 Hamburg Summit in Germany adopted the “G20 action plan on marine litter” in 2017.

Under the new framework, G20 members will promote a comprehensive life-cycle approach to prevent and reduce plastic litter discharge to the oceans through various measures and international cooperation.

They will also share best practices, promote innovation and boost scientific monitoring and analytical methodologies.

“I’m glad that we, including emerging countries and developing countries, were able to form a broad international framework,” Yoshiaki Harada, Japan’s environment minister, told a news conference.

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Japan plans to host the first meeting under the new framework this autumn when officials of environment ministers in the G20 countries are due to meet for the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue. (VOA)

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G20 Needs to Issue Strong Declaration about Climate Change in Summit

In that meeting, the members of the group agreed on a document supporting the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement

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Juncker made the statement after being asked in a press conference over his expectations for the final declaration over climate change. Pixabay

European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said that the G20 needs to issue a strong declaration about climate change in its summit, which is set to kick off later in the day in this Japanese city.

Juncker made the statement after being asked in a press conference over his expectations for the final declaration over climate change set to be signed by G20 leaders during the two-day meet, reports Efe news.

“We need a strong declaration on climate change,” said Juncker, recalling the debacle in this regard in the last G20 summit in Buenos Aires in December.

In that meeting, the members of the group agreed on a document supporting the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement against climate change, although the US abstained from signing the declaration after President Donald Trump’s administration had earlier unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015 climate change deal signed in the French capital.

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European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday said that the G20 needs to issue a strong declaration about climate change. Pixabay

The possible opposition of the United States makes it difficult for the G20 to agree on a more substantial text, making it likely that the declaration would be limited to supporting the Paris Agreement, according to official sources from Japan, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the group.

Both Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk said that the delegations were still working on the final draft of the declaration and hoped to make further progress.

Meanwhile, a group of environmental activists on Thursday protested outside a coal plant in the Japanese city of Kobe with an inflatable balloon effigy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as a show of opposition against his policies of promoting and funding coal power plants.

Also Read- NASA Selects Eight New Teams to Conduct Research about Moon

The activists of the No Coal Japan campaign said they wanted Japanese leaders to have more discussions in the G20 summit about reducing the country’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions. (IANS)