Tomorrow Without Toxics

November saw the four day virtual conference “Tomorrow without Toxics”. The conference will run the whole week and brings together civil society, movements and stakeholders to discuss the political challenges and prospects regarding the international regulation of chemical management.

Chemical toxicity represents a third great environmental crisis (alongside climate change and the loss of biodiversity) currently facing humanity. The ineffectual measures of global institutions intended to address the problem do not do it justice. Governmental bodies are aware of the dangers posed by inadequate chemical and waste management, but have so far failed to respond in adequate fashion.

People around the world are exposed to hazardous chemicals to varying degrees. This depends on factors such as gender, place of origin, and class. The division of labour on a global scale is interwoven with exploitative, repressive and discriminatory mechanisms. Taking these aspects into account is a prerequisite for achieving fairness in international chemical management. This means a global framework must address discrepancies in how people are differently affected.

Meanwhile, the chemicals industry is making immense profits while continuing to poison the planet. At the same time is not possible to guarantee the achievement of the sustainable development goals as long as toxic chemicals remain inadequately regulated. These are reasons enough for us to come together and network for change!

The conference was a joint civil society Call to Action, addressing the urgency of a powerful global commitment for safe and sustainable chemicals management!  

The interactive online conference was organized by Forum Environment & Development, in cooperation with WECF, HEJ-Support, PAN Germany and BUND – Friends of the Earth Germany. WECF moderated two panel debates during the conference. On Monday Chantal Van den Bossche, communications coordinator, moderated a panel debate on Social Justice and on Wednesday WECF Executive Director Sascha Gabizon moderated a debate on pesticides.