International Agreement: G20 Summit and Osaka Blue Ocean Vision
The Group of Twenty (G20) members account for more than 80% of world gross domestic product, 75% of global trade, and 60% of the world’s population. The forum has met every year since 1999. Since 2008, it has held a yearly summit attended by the heads of state of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is invited as a permanent guest.
The G20 summit held in July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany, was the first G20 summit that discussed marine plastic pollution. Based on prior and ongoing international work and discussions, the G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter was agreed on. It recognised the contribution of land-based sources of marine litter, promoted waste prevention and resource efficiency, highlighted the importance of education and research, and encouraged stakeholders’ engagement, amongst others.
Building on this plan and on the UN Environment Programme’s work, the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter was established in June 2019 at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in Karuizawa, Japan. This framework, which aims to facilitate further actions on marine litter whilst taking into account national policies, approaches and circumstances, was endorsed by the G20 leaders at the G20 Summit held in Osaka, Japan in June 2019.
Osaka Blue Ocean Vision
At the G20 Osaka Summit, the world leaders agreed to the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision in the final statement: ‘We reiterate that measures to address marine litter, especially marine plastic litter and microplastics, need to be taken nationally and internationally by all countries in partnership with relevant stakeholders. In this regard, we are determined to swiftly take appropriate national actions for the prevention and significant reduction of discharges of plastic litter and microplastics to the oceans. Furthermore, looking ahead beyond those initiatives and existing actions by each member, we share, and call on other members of the international community to also share, as a common global vision, the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” that we aim to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 through a comprehensive life-cycle approach that includes reducing the discharge of mismanaged plastic litter by improved waste management and innovative solutions while recognizing the important role of plastics for society. We also endorse the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter’ (Osaka, Japan, 28–29 June 2019).
To reduce additional marine plastic litter pollution to zero by 2050, the framework is expected to share and update information on policies, plans, and measures taken or to be taken on a voluntary basis and promote policies and measures by learning from best practices.
According to the “G20 Report on Actions against Marine Plastic Litter: Second Information Sharing based on the G20 Implementation Framework”, the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision has been widely shared at various international forums as a common global vision. The number of countries and regions sharing the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision had risen to 86 as of September 2020. Of the ASEAN+3 Member States, Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore contributed to the report.
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