Japan to Seek G-20 Accord on Zero Marine Plastic Pollution by 2050

Politics

Tokyo, June 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan aims to seek an accord to launch an initiative for reducing new ocean pollution by plastic waste to zero by 2050, at the two-day summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in the western Japan city of Osaka from Friday, it was learned Thursday.

But it remains unclear whether an agreement will be reached, sources familiar with the matter said, noting that the United States is reluctant to accept numerical targets for environmental issues.

Developing countries, many of which do not have sufficient waste management systems, are also likely to sound cautious on the initiative, dubbed "Osaka Blue Ocean Vision," the sources said.

At a time when marine pollution by plastic waste, including damage to the ecosystem, is increasingly recognized as a serious environmental problem worldwide, G-20 energy and environment ministers at their meeting earlier this month agreed to set up an international framework under which member economies will make voluntary efforts to reduce marine plastic waste, the first such global initiative.

Tokyo hopes that the G-20 summit, to be chaired by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will reaffirm the establishment of the framework.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press