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    India Stands Firm on Plastic Pollution Agreement, Insists on Full Consensus


    India has made its stance clear at the Fourth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on plastics, stating that it will only support an international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution if it is reached via full consensus, not through the support of a two-thirds majority. This declaration was reiterated during the third plenary of the INC meetings.

    The INC discussions aim to outline a draft global treaty addressing the pressing issue of plastic pollution, covering aspects from production to disposal and promoting sustainable practices in plastic production and consumption. However, significant disagreements persist among parties, particularly regarding primary plastic polymers, chemicals and polymers of concern, and trade-related matters.

    The ongoing INC 4 meeting, slated to conclude on April 29, seeks to advance negotiations to finalize the text of the instrument at the fifth session scheduled for November. This session, INC-5, to be held in Busan, South Korea, marks the end of the INC process and will be followed by a diplomatic conference where heads of state will sign the agreement, as per the United Nations Environment Programme.

    India has emphasized the importance of consensus-based decision-making in multilateral forums, highlighting fairness, equity, and inclusiveness as key principles. The country sought assurance that Rule 38.1, allowing for a two-thirds majority vote if consensus cannot be reached, will not be invoked during the current negotiations.

    While several countries, including Russia, China, UAE, and Cuba, oppose the option of voting, concerns persist over undefined terms in the discussions, such as life-cycle approach and problematic plastic. Experts stress the need for robust definitions to facilitate agreement.

    Additionally, a report by the Centre for Science and Environment highlights concerns about increasing oil and gas production for polymers, signaling anticipation of climate change responses that may impact fossil fuel production. The report notes resistance from India, Russia, the United States, and China in reducing primary plastic polymer production and phasing out single-use plastic.

    Sources By Agencies

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