CIEL Statement on the 8th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Stockholm Convention
May 5, 2017
At the 8th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Stockholm Convention, in Geneva, the EU continues its worrying practice of undermining its own proposals to protect human health and the environment by adding unacceptable loopholes.
While the COP agreed to ban DecaBDE, a toxic, bioaccumulative, persistent, endocrine disrupting flame retardant, the EU pushed for and supported blanket exemptions to this ban, against the recommendations of the Convention’s own scientific committee. Thanks to proposals by the EU, the use of DecaBDE will be allowed in new cars and spare parts for nearly another 20 years, and in aircrafts for even longer. The exemption language for aircrafts cleverly obscures the fact that manufacturing with DecaBDE will likely continue until 2050 and its use until 2100. The exemption was pushed by the EU on behalf of the EU aerospace industry, despite Boeing having explicitly stated that this exemption was not needed. These loopholes will guarantee the continued contamination of people, food, air, and water for decades to come.
Meanwhile, in Brussels, the EU Commission has been promoting this same loophole strategy with its approach to endocrine disrupting chemicals. The proposed criteria to identify endocrine disruptors, which is expected to be adopted in the coming weeks, contain an exemption that would allow some biocides and pesticides specifically designed to interfere with hormone systems unregulated. This loophole undermines the effectiveness of scientific identification criteria that should protect the health and safety EU citizens and future generations.