Interlinkages with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt, have the objective of achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

Pursuant to their decisions on international cooperation and coordination with other organizations (BC-16/22, RC-11/9 and SC-11/21), the conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions noted that actions taken under the conventions may contribute to achieving the UNFCCC’s objectives and decided to take that into account in their work and encouraged Parties to do the same when implementing the conventions. The decisions also requested the Secretariat to enhance its cooperation with the UNFCCC secretariat on issues of common interest.

The recognition of the conventions’ contributions to addressing climate change comes from the scientific evidence that climate change and pollution often have joint sources and exert combined and mutually reinforcing pressures on the environment and human health.

Waste is the largest anthropogenic source of methane (around 20% of global methane emissions) and the environmentally sound management and waste hierarchy promoted by the Basel Convention allows for effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Circular approaches promoting waste prevention, re-use, recycling, and replacement of fossil fuels and feedstock by secondary raw materials have the potential to result in significant GHG emissions reductions across value-chains, and create green jobs.

The application of the Stockholm Convention’s BAT and BEP in major unintentionally produced POPs source categories (e.g. fossil-fuel fired utility and industrial boilers, metallurgical industry, open burning of wastes) also result in GHG emission reductions. By removing toxic chemicals from products, the Convention increases the recyclability of products and reduces the demand for extraction of new raw materials.

Curbing chemical and wastes pollution offers various co-benefits to tackling climate change, either directly or indirectly, and across various economic sectors.

Cognizant of the importance of those interlinkages, the Secretariat cooperates with the UNFCCC secretariat along with other partners to further explore the linkages among waste, chemicals, and climate change and the co-benefits of joint actions as well as to conduct outreach activities thereon.