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Nearly 200 researchers from the Norwegian scientific community have signed an open letter supporting the establishment of an International Science-Policy Panel to support action on chemicals, waste and pollution. This letter [1], written to the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide, received signatures from scientists working at 28 Norwegian universities, institutes and businesses.

"The opinion of the Norwegian scientific community is clear," explain the scientists organising the letter. "We see a clear need for the UN to establish an international scientific panel, with a similar mandate as the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)”. They further state that establishing such a panel is essential to address the global threat of pollution with chemicals and waste.

The establishment of this panel will be discussed and voted upon at the upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), to be held in Nairobi Kenya, 28 February – 2 March 2022, chaired by the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide. According to the scientists, “this provides an excellent opportunity to show Norway’s strong commitment to protecting the environment at an international level.”

"While drafting the letter, we learnt that both the Norwegian Government and Minister Eide support the establishment of a pollution panel," say the scientists, "and we are very happy to hear this. Nevertheless it is important to publish this letter to show the support of the Norwegian scientific community to the position of the Norwegian government. Many other countries around the world are supporting the establishment of a pollution panel [2], including Austria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. “We are in good company and our colleagues in several other countries have signed similar letters." In total, over 2000 scientists worldwide have signed a global petition to support establishing this panel[3].

"The clear signal from the scientific community for this new panel shows that current international frameworks are inefficient in preventing pollution, and that science-based action is needed at the global level," say the scientists.

The researchers organizing the letter were:

Hans Peter Arp, Expert Adviser, NGI, Professor II, NTNU (Environmental Chemist)

Bert van Bavel, Chief Scientist, NIVA (Analytical Chemist)

Andy Booth, Chief Scientist, SINTEF Ocean (Environmental Chemist)

Claudia Halsband, Head of Section, Akvaplan-niva (Marine Ecologist)

Dorte Herzke, Senior Scientist, NILU, Associate Professor II, UiT (Environmental Chemist)

Bjørn Munro Jenssen, Professor, NTNU, UNIS (Environmental Toxicologist)

Amy Lusher, Research Scientist, NIVA, Associate Professor II, UiB (Marine Biologist)

Thomas Maes, Senior Scientists, GRID Arendal (Pollution Scientist)

Luca Nizzetto, Senior Research Scientist, NIVA (Environmental Chemist)

Martin Wagner, Associate Professor, NTNU (Environmental Toxicologist)


Hans Peter Arp (Hans.Peter.Arp@ngi.no) – NGI Oslo, NTNU Trondheim

Bert van Bavel (bert.vanbavel@niva.no) - NIVA Oslo

Andy Booth (andy.booth@sintef.no) -SINTEF Oceans Trondheim

Claudia Halsband (clh@akvaplan.niva.no) - Akvaplan Niva Tromsø

Dorte Herzke (dhe@nilu.no) - NILU Tromsø

Bjørn Munro Jenssen (bjorn.munro.jenssen@ntnu.no) - NTNU Trondheim

Amy Lusher (amy.lusher@niva.no) - NIVA Oslo

Thomas Maes (thomas.maes@grida.no) - GRID-Arendal,

Luca Nizzetto (luca.nizzetto@niva.no) - NIVA Oslo

Martin Wagner (martin.wagner@ntnu.no) - NTNU Trondheim


[1] Letter signed by 192 researchers in Norway: Microsoft Word - LoS_IPCPW_Norway_signed.docx (gridarendal-website-live.s3.amazonaws.com)

[2] UNEA 5.2 vedtak: https://tinyurl.com/a3wc456s

[3] International petition with over 2000 signatures from researchers https://www.ipcp.ch/activities/developing-a-global-science-policy-body-for-chemical-pollution


113 Environmental Ministers from 163 countries met for UNEA 2014 in Nairobi | GRID-Arendal (grida.no)

Release date: 22 Feb 2022


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