Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez is traveling to Paris, France, until May 27 to lead the U.S. delegation engagement ahead of the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on plastic pollution. Following his departure, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer R. Littlejohn will be head of the U.S. delegation.
Plastic pollution is a global crisis that transcends boundaries, affecting our natural world, its biodiversity, and human health and wellbeing. The United States is working with other countries to develop an ambitious and innovative global agreement to address this problem.
Under Secretary Fernandez and Acting Assistant Secretary Littlejohn are meeting with government leaders as well as representatives from business, civil society, and other stakeholders to foster cooperation on combating plastic pollution as the world works toward a global agreement.
In Paris, Under Secretary Fernandez is announcing a seven-million-dollar grant to the UN Environment Program to help select developing countries establish and implement national action plans to combat plastic pollution, facilitate information sharing and good practices, and support engagement in the intergovernmental negotiating committee process. In addition, the Under Secretary is noting that the State Department is working towards establishing a public-private partnership, the End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative (EPPIC), providing up to $14.5 million to help launch this effort. EPPIC will convene governments, business, civil society, philanthropies, and others to galvanize global action on plastic pollution and focus on advancing circularity and science-based solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic.