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Global Chemical Outlook Report II

Published on Monday, April 01, 2019
Global Chemical Outlook Report II


The report was mandated by the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2016. The report seeks to alert policymakers and other stakeholders to the critical role of the sound management of chemicals and waste in sustainable development. This is the second edition of the report.


  • The report emphasises that until the sound management of chemicals and waste is achieved worldwide, the estimated growth in chemical production and resulting consumption will result in adverse impacts.
  • Urgent action is required to reduce damage to human health and economies and also to meet the internationally agreed goal to minimize the adverse impacts of chemicals and waste by 2020.
  • The current chemical production capacity of 2.3 billion tonnes is projected to double by 2030.
  • It notes that despite international agreement, that reached at the high-level UN conferences, and significant action already taken scientists continue to express concerns regarding the lack of progress made.
  • The report also note that the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for classification and labelling has not been implemented in more than 120 countries, mostly of them are developing nations and economies in transition.
  • Chemicals play an important role in modern society and in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from pharmaceuticals to plant protection.
  • WHO estimated the burden of disease from selected chemicals at 1.6 million lives in 2016, which is likely an underestimate. 
  • Chemical pollution also threatens a wide range of ecosystem services.
  • Chemical production and consumption is also shifting to emerging economies, particularly in China.

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