Article

Paying for POPs: Negotiating the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Developing Countries

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Abstract

A key aspect of the negotiations for the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) related to provisions surrounding its financial mechanism to facilitate its implementation in developing countries. This article examines how financial aspects of the Convention were negotiated as the treaty was taking shape and how financial provisions have been implemented since the Convention’s entry into force in 2004. Regarding the design of the financial mechanism, developing countries stressed the need for new and additional financial resources and a tailored institution, while developed countries favored working with existing financial institutions, notably the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In the end, countries compromised by agreeing that GEF would serve as the Convention’s “interim” financial mechanism while also recognizing that financial and technical support is directly related to developing countries’ ability to comply with the treaty’s obligations. We discuss the implications of this outcome and then provide an overview of how this arrangement has played out in practice. We conclude by discussing the implications of recent developments, notably the expansion of the scope of the Convention from 12 to 21 chemicals in May 2009 and the finalization of the fifth replenishment of the GEF in May 2010.

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... The chemical industry was not strongly involved in the Convention negotiations, because the substances of concern were largely considered to be non-marketable. They were either no longer in widespread use or production, and had even been replaced in the market by more profitable alternatives (Kohler and Ashton 2010). The Convention negotiations were characterized by a strong participation of different NGOs. ...
... There are some strong differences between the "new POPs" in comparison to the initial twelve POPs. The new POPs are typically used for many different applications and as components of a variety of different products in many different industrial branches (Kohler and Ashton 2010). Due to this fact more industry branches are conflicted with the restrictions that inclusion of these substances in the Stockholm Convention would bring about. ...
... Due to this fact more industry branches are conflicted with the restrictions that inclusion of these substances in the Stockholm Convention would bring about. The participation of the chemical industry in the negotiations of inclusion of new chemicals in the convention has risen since the "dirty dozen", as the chemicals in question are still in widespread use (Kohler and Ashton 2010). ...
Technical Report
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The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) regulates highly persistent and toxic chemicals at the global level. Currently, 22 chemicals are regulated as POPs under the Convention. A key question for the future work of the Convention is how many additional POPs are to be expected, given the fact that there are tens of thousands of chemicals on the market globally. The Convention does not lay down any particular obligation concerning addition of chemicals to it but allows any Party to propose new chemicals for inclusion in the Convention. Against this background, the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) contracted Öko-Institut and ETH Zürich (ICB) to develop a strategy for identifying potential POP candidates and to evaluate the data, methods and procedures that were used in the identification of the 22 existing POPs. Established models for the calculation of relevant POPproperties, information on chemical databases and substance lists, and environmental monitoring programs related to the detection of POPs were assessed and evaluated. Most of the screening studies found in the literature searched for highly persistent and bioaccumulative chemicals, but did not include the long-range transport potential, which is a key criterion under the Stockholm Convention. The strategy is based on the findings of the status-quo evaluation and describes a stepwise approach to evaluating currently used chemicals in order to identify substances with POP characteristics for initial proposals of the Stockholm Convention process. The strategy includes two main steps, a screening of chemicals according to the Annex D criteria of the Stockholm Convention and the evaluation of additional information on uses, adverse effects and regulatory importance of potential POP candidates.
... Over 10 years on, it stated in its recent (second) NIP that nearly all of the action plans in the first NIPs were not implemented as a result of limited financial resources (EPA-SL, 2019). It is also reported that most small island developing states (SIDS) and low-income countries of Africa were not successful in obtaining the GEF funds to implement their first NIPs action plans (Kohler and Ashton, 2010). ...
Article
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... This is especially problematic for poorer nations that rely primarily on GEF funding that, amongst multiple projects, do not prioritize POP reduction. Additionally, the GEF does not have the capacity to assess whether funds allocated for POP removal are appropriately or effectively used (Ashton and Kohler 2010). ...
Article
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Chapter
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... Several scholars provide overviews and analyses of the creation and content of the individual BRS conventions (e.g., Mason and VanderZwaag 2015;Downie and Templeton 2014;Selin 2010;O'Neill 2010;Downie and Fenge 2003). Other studies examine operational details or policy issues (e.g., Hung et al. 2016;Kummer 2014;Lucier and Gareau 2014;Templeton 2011;Kohler and Ashton 2010;Kohler 2006;Karlsson 2004;Eckley and Selin 2003). To date, there has been no systematic analysis of the operation and impact of the TripleCOPs by scholars or the BRS Secretariat. ...
Article
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