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Minister Guilbeault issues statement on high-level meeting as INC-4 begins

Press Release

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

April 23, 2024

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, is providing the following statement on an April 21 meeting in Ottawa with ministers and high-level representatives from all regions of the world organized in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International. This meeting brought momentum to the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to work toward the development of a first-of-its-kind legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution by the end of 2024.

“To set the stage for an ambitious INC-4, Canada rallied ministers and representatives from around the world to reconfirm their commitment to our shared goal of ending plastic pollution. Canada and WWF co-hosted a ministerial session to identify collective opportunities for ambition and to galvanize momentum toward a successful INC-4. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity in front of us and we must deliver.

“I heard their commitment to tackle the plastics crisis and meet our ambitious timeline to conclude a global plastics treaty by the end of 2024.

“To protect our shared environment, we emphasized the need to prioritize the reduction and elimination of avoidable and problematic plastics, which can impede sustainable systems like circularity, harm the environment and pose potential risks to human health.

“I heard clearly about the importance of acknowledging the financial, technical and capacity needs as well as the need for this agreement to be transparent and include consistent financing and governance mechanisms to ensure that all countries can fulfill their respective obligations.

“Representatives shared their expectation to continue work between negotiation sessions. A mandate for intersessional work between INC-4 and the final session (INC-5, to be held in the Republic of Korea) to advance progress, including the establishment of a legal drafting group, would indicate a willingness to conclude negotiations by the year’s end.

“A whole-of-society approach for the development and implementation of a global deal to end plastic pollution is crucial. This means engaging with all levels of government as well as the private sector, non-governmental partners, the science community and Indigenous partners to ensure that all voices and perspectives are considered.

“Canada looks forward to collaborating with all countries to drive substantial progress in the agreement text by the end of INC-4. Work will continue among the alliance of INC host countries to keep up the momentum until INC-5 in the Republic of Korea. Quoting my good friend Dr. Adil Najam, President of WWF International, ‘The world needs some good news and I hope it comes from Ottawa.’”


Kaitlin Power
Senior Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)



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