Bild
Plastics on a beach
Foto: Srikanth Mannepuri, Ocean Image Bank
Länkstig

The Invisible Global Crisis: Exceeding the Limits of the Pollution Planetary Boundary

Hållbarhet & miljö

A well-received study recently established that we have reached the limit of how much chemicals and plastics the planet can tolerate. This side event at the UN Ocean Conference focus on new science and opportunities to tackle these threats to human and marine life.

Seminarium
Datum
27 jun 2022
Tid
13:30 - 15:00
Plats
FIL - Lisbon Exhibition and Congress Centre, Auditorium I

Medverkande
Bethanie Carney Almroth, Professor in Ecotoxicologi, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Martin Hassellöv, Professor in Analytical Environmental Chemistry, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg.
Björn Beeler, General Manager and International Coordinator, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).
Arrangör
Centre for Sea and Society

The planetary boundaries concept presents a set of nine boundaries that when crossed increases the risk of generating large-scale abrupt or irreversible environmental changes. The ocean is the chemical sector’s global dumpsite, where beyond the visible plastic pollution, new science is revealing a much more insidious global threat: the escalating chemical production and iinvisible pollution crisis.

In 2022 the crisis was revealed as the planetary boundaries of chemical pollution were assessed and published in the study Outside the Safe Operating Space of the Planetary Boundary for Novel Entities. In this innovative peer reviewed publication, a group of 14 internationally renowned scientists concluded that rates of production and release of hazardous chemicals used to make plastics, pesticides and industrial chemicals exceeds these boundaries.

These results are of grave concern, as the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depends is on course to collapse. For this event, the researchers behind the paper will introduce and discuss this complex problem describing the main drivers of pollution and its consequences. Further they will discuss how pollution influences biodiversity integrity and how this is reflected in a social-human dimension. The current chemical production rates far exceed our ability to assess and regulate safety of chemicals and products, and waste management policies and infrastructures cannot prevent release into the environment.

The researchers are calling for ambitious action capping new production of plastics. Policy makers, international media actors and public interest stakeholders will join the conversation where focus will be on how to scale up the action based on science, collective action, policy and management. The main goal of this side-event and contribution to the conference is to form new partnerships, communicate the need for a more progressive chemical policy and management and to speed up the formation and implementation of an International Panel on Chemical Pollution, IPCP.

Presenters

Bethanie Carney Almroth, Professor in Ecotoxicologi, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg. Member of the FRAM Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management Strategies and the Center for Collective Action Research, and her research focuses on the environmental effects of plastics and plastic-associated chemicals.

Martin Hassellöv, Professor in Analytical Environmental Chemistry, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg. Member is part of the FRAM Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management and his research involves analysis, environmental fate and transport of microplastics, nanomaterials and other pollutants with a focus on the ocean.

Björn Beeler, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) General Manager and International Coordinator at IPEN. The focus of his work is on empowering local organisations with community-based science/data on toxic chemicals and exposure, to enable organisations based in the Global South and East as actors to impact global policies.

Panelists

  • Susan Gardner, Director, Ecosystems Division, UN Environment Programme.
  • Jessica Brown, Head of Engagement - Back to Blue Initiative, Economist Impact.
  • Luis Vayas Valdivieso, Viceminister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador.
  • Therese Karlsson, Science and Technical Advisor, IPEN.

Organisers

  • Centre for Sea and Society at the University of Gothenburg
  • International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN)
  • Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment 
  • Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA).