Interpretation of the WSSD 2020 Chemicals Goals and an Assessment of EU’s efforts to meet the WSSD Commitment
Client: DG ENV
In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), world leaders agreed to renew their commitment, (advanced in Agenda 21 chapt.19), to the management of chemicals, the aim being by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimisation of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.
This commitment - otherwise referred to as the ‘WSSD 2020 chemicals goal’, is embodied in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI, paragraph 23) where a number of actions were identified to be taken at all levels. The EU embraced the WSSD goal and has worked arduously towards its fulfilment.
Over the coming years, the Commission will have to carry out an assessment of the EU's efforts. Prior to assessing progress, a number of elements need to be clarified, starting with a clear understanding of what the 2020 goal means in practical terms.
The aim of this study was to interpret the WSSD 2020 chemicals goal, and to establish a number of specific indicators with which to measure the EU's progress.
The study carried out by Milieu reviewed the literature to explain the meaning of "the minimisation of significant adverse effects [of chemicals] on human health and the environment".
The study also elaborated on a methodology with SMART indicators to measure the progress of the EU towards the achievement of this goal. Indicators were then applied to assess EU policies and actions on chemicals (e.g. on REACH, pesticides, toxic waste, endocrine disruptors etc.) as well as to identify the main gaps, in order to prepare a road-map for future action.
As a result, the study identified the principal gaps and prepared a road-map that clearly set out the further EU work required to attain the WSSD 2020 chemicals goal.