19 Sept 2018 - A G7 ministers meeting in Halifax will promote the Canadian-led oceans plastic charter, with Ottawa planning to take the accord to the United Nations General Assembly, says the federal environment minister.
The non-binding accord was agreed to by five of the G7 leaders and the European Union at the G7's Charlevoix summit in June, though neither the United States nor Japan have signed on.
But the agreement needs wider international acceptance to stop the use of the oceans as open dumps, with more than half of the waste coming from Asian nations who aren't G7 members.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said in an interview Monday the ocean plastics charter will be among the key features of the three-day Halifax gathering that begins Wednesday, as Canada wraps up its presidency of the G7.
"We know plastic ... is literally choking our lakes and rivers and we have to take steps to stop that or we'll have more plastic pollution than fish by 2050," she said from Ottawa.
The meeting will also see discussion around the rules for bringing about the Paris climate agreement's goals for reductions in carbon emissions, she said.
Illegal fishing also on meeting agenda
In addition, the wide-ranging agenda includes discussion of measures to prevent illegal fishing, coastal adaptation to extreme weather and, on Friday, a gathering of G7 energy ministers that will include talks on clean energy.
However, the plastics accord discussion — occurring in a province that relies on a healthy marine environment for fishing and tourism — has strong political appeal, say some observers.
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