Needs, opportunities and options to finance a possible global agreement on plastic pollution

Plastikflaschen

Plastic waste ends up in the oceans in increasing quantities. This has far-reaching ecological, social and economic impacts. A growing number of different actors even compare marine plastic pollution with other pressing, man-made global environmental problems of historic dimensions such as climate change. They are therefore demanding a global agreement on plastic pollution. In the last two years, these demands have gained increasing political momentum, most recently with the initiative of the governments of Germany, Ghana and Ecuador to hold a ministerial conference with the aim to initiate negotiations on such a global agreement before the end of 2021. A key issue in these negotiations and an essential condition for the effectiveness of a possible global agreement will also be the mobilization and delivery of sufficient financial resources to implement the agreement effectively.

Against this background, the Nordic Council of Ministers has initiated a project to identify options for designing the basic financial framework as well as different mechanisms for mobilizing and delivering financial resources under a possible global agreement on plastic pollution. The project proceeds in several steps.

It starts with an assessment of the financial needs of the agreement: Which international and national measures require the mobilization and provision of financial resources under a possible global agreement? In which sectors and for what actions and activities are financial resources most urgently needed?

Subsequently, adelphi assesses the economic potential of a global circular economy for plastics that the possible global agreement could exploit: What is the economic potential of a global plastic circular economy? Where would the financial mechanisms have the greatest leverage to stimulate and realize this potential?

Finally, adelphi elaborates different options for the basic financial set-up, for the mobilization and delivery of resources from public and private actors, and for the specific financial mechanisms that support the agreement’s implementation at international, regional and national levels and across sectors: What are the options for funding the core intergovernmental process of a possible agreement and its main bodies? What opportunities exist to mobilize and deliver financial resources through multi- and bilateral development aid? What are the opportunities to mobilize and deliver financial resources from domestic sources and private actors? What are the objectives, modalities and functions of the different options?

With this project, adelphi contributes to the international discussion on the design of a possible global agreement on plastic pollution. adelphi's main objective is to identify viable options that would enable such an agreement to be implemented effectively. The study is thus intended to inform decision-makers about different options in the design of the basic financial framework as well as different mechanisms for mobilizing and delivering financial resources, which they can use in further multilateral decision-making.