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Int’l framework on marine plastic waste key G-20 issue

  • June 13, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 2:05 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, June 12 (Jiji Press) — Whether to agree on an international framework to reduce marine plastic waste will be the focal point of an upcoming Group of 20 ministerial meeting in Japan, informed sources said Wednesday.

Measures against global warming, the use of hydrogen energy with zero carbon dioxide emissions and other technological innovations will also be discussed at the two-day meeting of the G-20 energy and environment ministers from Saturday in Karuizawa in the central prefecture of Nagano.

The total amount of marine plastic waste released annually around the world is estimated at 4.78 million to 12.75 million tons, according to data from U.S university researchers and other sources.

Of the total, 2 pct is from the Group of Seven major industrial countries, nearly 30 pct from China and around 10 pct from Indonesia.

The Japanese government believes it necessary to get developing nations committed to reducing marine plastic waste in order to draw up viable measures.

Tokyo hopes to create an international framework similar to the Paris Agreement to combat global warming.

Japan favors an idea that both developed and developing nations will make action plans and report their progress periodically under the framework.

Action plans would include measures to prevent plastic products from flowing into the ocean without fully banning the use of such products.

Japan’s initiative may not obtain unanimous support, because Europe and Canada may demand tough measures similar to their bans on the use and circulation of disposable plastic products while U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration places a low priority on environmental issues.

The success of the Karuizawa G-20 meeting will hinge on whether Japan can build a consensus on the international framework while tolerating various approaches to the matter, the sources said.

Regarding the fight against global warming, Japan will give consideration to the United States, which has declared its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, by focusing discussions on a “virtuous circle” of environmental protection and economic growth instead of climate change.

Participants are expected to draw up an action plan to promote hydrogen use, CO2 recycling to produce aircraft fuels and other technological innovations.

 

The plan is seen including an initiative to establish a group in which research institutions of the G-20 advanced and emerging economies will take part.

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