Minister for the Environment adopts declaration of intent on chemicals

In conjunction with the environmental conference Stockholm+40, Minister for the Environment Lena Ek together with Nina Cromnier, Director-General of the Swedish Chemicals Agency, organised an international chemicals dialogue on 24 April. As a step forward, Ms Ek has adopted a declaration of intent focusing on eight selected areas in which to concentrate implementation efforts over the next eight years. In 2002, world leaders agreed in Johannesburg that by 2020, chemicals would be produced and used so as to minimise harmful effects on the environment and our health. The goal adopted at the summit aims at, achieving sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimise significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. With eight years left until the target is due to be met, Minister for the Environment Lena Ek is now choosing to step up efforts on chemicals. Accordingly, the recent dialogue was chosen as the occasion to present the initiative “8 Years – 8 Actions – an initiative towards the 2020 goal for Sound Chemicals Management”. In this initiative, Ms Ek chooses to highlight eight areas that she considers particularly important in the drive to meet the 2020 target. These areas also found broad support among all the participants in the dialogue. “The use and management of chemicals is an area that receives far too little attention in discussions on sustainable development, even though its effects have a great impact on nature and health. I have chosen now to highlight eight areas that I see as particularly critical if we are to achieve the 2020 target,” says Ms Ek. The eight areas range from an increased focus on substitutes for hazardous substances, better access to information about chemicals in products, a growing focus on health issues associated with chemicals use and the need to more clearly integrate chemicals in work on sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Sweden’s Ministry of Environment, 26 April 2012 ;http://www.sweden.gov.se ;