Goal and assessment of EU efforts to meet the WSSD commitment
In 2002, participants at the World Summit of Sustainable Development (WSSD), including the European Union (EU) and its Member States, made a commitment to the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle, “aiming to achieve, by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.” This commitment, the “WSSD 2020 goal”, was expanded upon in paragraph 23 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). In the eleven years since the WSSD, the EU has made considerable progress in enacting... and implementing legislation that specifically addresses the chemicals-related objectives that were established in Johannesburg. In this report we interpret the meaning of the WSSD 2020 Goal to the EU, and go on to generate a set of 20 indicators against which to measuring EU progress towards achieving that goal from a baseline year of 2002 up until the end of 2012. We identify gaps in progress to date, and develop recommendations to address specific gaps. We then go on to organise these recommendations under a Roadmap of actions for the EU from 2013 to 2020, aiming to ensure that the EU meets the WSSD 2020 Goal. In interpreting the meaning of the WSSD 2020 Goal, we look first to Paragraph 23 of JPOI and secondly to other key texts including, Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, as agreed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and the more recent outputs of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). With regards to Agenda 21, Chapter 19 on “Environmentally Sound Management of Toxic Chemicals, Including Prevention of Illegal International Traffic in Toxic and Dangerous Products” and Chapter 20 on “Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous Wastes, Including Prevention of Illegal International Traffic in Hazardous Wastes” provide significant guidance in identifying key elements of sound chemicals management. Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration focuses on the use of precautionary approach and is explicitly mentioned under Paragraph 23 of JPOI. The WSSD 2020 goal was adopted as the main objective of SAICM, which includes the Dubai Declaration on International Chemicals Management, the Overarching Policy Strategy, and the Global Plan of Action. We undertook a horizontal analysis of these texts to draw out elements that are common to these international agreements. In order to facilitate the systematic organisation of key elements and a fluid transition to a useful set of indicators, the elements drawn out in the horizontal analysis are presented according to five topics, namely: 1. Knowledge, information and infrastructure; 2. Risk reduction; 3. Governance; 4. Illegal traffic in hazardous chemicals, products and waste; and 5. Technical assistance and capacity building.