🚨 Live Updates from INC4: People vs Plastic

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Please note: this page is being updated daily. The most recent updates are at the top and you are going back in time as you scroll down.

From April 23-29, Ottawa are hosting the fourth of five UN negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty (INC-4). The first three rounds were chaotic and dominated by Big Plastic trying to weaken the treaty’s ambitions. The clock is ticking but as host country, Canada now has the opportunity to help get negotiations on track and focused on what is critical to secure an impactful treaty – cutting plastic production. You can read more about the plastic crisis here.

April 30th: End of Negotiations

  • Late on Monday night, the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) for a Global Plastics Treaty ended with world governments failing to agree on the inclusion of any reference to plastic production or polymers in intersessional work, despite strong support by various countries, scientists and civil society groups.
  • While Canada supported in principle a proposal from Rwanda to add a reduction of production in the intersessional work, the country and various other high ambition coalition governments did not push for it  in the final plenary, resulting in a compromised outcome.

Sarah King, Head of Plastics & Oceans at Greenpeace Canada and member of Greenpeace delegation at INC-4, said:

“As host country, Canada failed to ensure INC-4 wrapped up with a clear path towards securing a Global Plastics Treaty that ends plastic pollution at the point it begins: production. The weak deal agreed in Ottawa put the industry interests first, doesn’t reflect what Minister Guilbeault’s government has committed to publicly, and raises concerns about Canada’s willingness to compromise on the ambition needed to solve the plastic crisis. As we look ahead to INC-5 in Korea, the lessons learned by Canada should be to stand alongside high ambition countries championing strong measures that the public wants, scientists are calling for, and the world desperately needs.”

April 29th: Final Day of Negotiations

  • It’s the final day of negotiations and we are not seeing the ambition needed to secure a strong Global Plastics Treaty drafted before the next round of negotiations.
  • It is absolutely critical for Canada, as host country, to show renewed leadership and help secure an ambitious treaty that includes caps on plastic production.

Sarah King (Greenpeace Canada Head of Oceans and Plastics) gives us an update on the INC-4 negotiations on the last day!

Supporters and other organizations pushed to urge Canada to be a leader in securing an ambitious treaty which includes cuts to plastic production!

Parallel to the INC-4 negotiations, France’s ecological transition ministry announced that the G7 (The Group of Seven nations, which includes host Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and US) is expected to commit to reducing plastic production as a measure of tackling plastic pollution:

April 28th: Day 6 of Negotiations

  • Day 6 was a day of subgroup discussions and plenary.
  • The plenary session was focused on discussing what happens between this round of negotiations (INC-4) and the next (INC-5).
  • Intersessional work (the smaller meetings leading up to the full formal plenary session) was largely on financing mechanisms & chemicals of concern.
  • The important thing remains that we need clear leadership and more ambition to include caps on plastic production.

Seeing the need to push for cuts to plastic production, Greenpeace Canada activists dropped a banner outside of the Shaw Centre, to deliver a clear message to delegates:

April 27th: Day 5 of Negotiations

  • Delegates were primarily focused on refining the treaty text.
  • Subgroups moved to line-by-line negotiations on #PrimaryPlasticsPolymers.
  • The need remains for leaders to continue pushing back against industry and nation states who are trying to weaken ambition and block cuts to plastic production.

We need to maintain pressure on Canada, since as host country, we should be showing clear leadership on an ambitious treaty!

April 26th: Day 4 of Negotiations

  • Halfway through the negotiations and we’ve seen some progress.
  • Ambitious countries have put some proposals on the table for the first time to cut plastic production.
  • We need leaders to step up and push back against the fossil fuel industry, who are trying to block cuts to plastic production.

Graham Forbes (Greenpeace International Head of Delegation to the Global Plastics Treaty) gives us an update on the INC-4 negotiations at the halfway point!

In terms of Canada’s positions within these negotiations, despite having just affirmed the need for plastic production cuts for a Global Plastics Treaty just two days ago, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault now suggests that imposing strict caps on plastic production may be too complicated and contentious. You can read a summary of this and Sarah King’s (Greenpeace Canada member of Delegation to the Global Plastics Treaty) commentary here:

You can read Greenpeace Canada’s reaction to these statements here.

In the plenary of that evening (the big meeting between everyone present at the INC-4 negotiations), Janelle Nahmabin, council member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, delivered a powerful speech urging govts to ensure stricter regulations, cut plastic production, & uphold #IndigenousRights. Janelle emphasized the need to hold corporations accountable for the harm they cause to people, communities, and the environment, while also stressing the importance of upholding Indigenous Rights in the treaty context. Earlier in the week, as the negotiations were ongoing, Aamjiwnaang declared a state of emergency due to high benzene levels from Ineos Styrolution, a plant that has leaked cancer-causing benzene into their community for years. Watch the speech here 🚨 Live Updates from INC4: People vs Plastic

April 25th: Day 3 of Negotiations

With the negotiations well under way, Greenpeace Canada activists delivered this “Global Plastics Factory” to remind delegates that Big Plastic is the real villain and to remind them of the critical need to include cutting plastic production in the Global Plastics Treaty:

One activist was arrested while engaged in this peaceful protest.

April 24th: Day 2 of Negotiations

  • Talks are progressing but not fast enough!
  • Governments have started to dig into the content but the jury is out on whether high ambition countries will work to ensure strong measures stay in the draft.

Today, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault emphasized the necessity of including limits on plastic production in a global treaty to end plastic waste, stating that reduction is crucial to preventing environmental harm.

In the morning, spokespeople from Aamjiwnaang First Nations, the Society of First Nations, and Keepers of the Water held a press conference, highlighting the impacts of plastics pollution on frontline Indigenous communities:

April 23rd: Day 1 of Negotiations

  • The negotiations kicked off smoothly, as member states quickly agreed on the week’s plan of action outlined by the chair of INC-4.
  • Now, it’s all hands on deck as delegates dive into dissecting the various sections and proposed measures of the treaty. The real work begins as they sift through what stays and what goes.

Let’s keep a close eye on the unfolding developments! 🌍✨

Meanwhile, the Science Coalition for an Effective Treaty made a compelling case, stressing the urgency of prioritizing cuts to production and extraction for the betterment of humanity.

Greenpeace International, including members from the Greenpeace Canada delegation, also held a press conference with The Descendants Project held a press conference to highlight Greenpeace’s demands for a strong treaty that cuts plastic production & expectations for critical negotiations this week.

April 22nd: Opening Session

During the opening session of the INC-4 negotiations, Minister Guilbeault introduced a Federal Plastics Registry. This registry aims to increase transparency across the plastic industry. The goal is to provide information that will guide the government in creating reduction targets for overall plastic production and in working to eliminate problematic polymers, chemicals, and products. You can read our reaction to this here.

April 21st: Earth Day

On Earth Day, 2 days before negotiations began, civil society groups, Indigenous and frontline communities, allies, and supporters from around the world came together in a mass mobilization in Ottawa to remind world leaders that all eyes are on them ahead of INC-4 negotiations:

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