ISWA highlights the issue of Open Burning at COP26

Nov 10, 2021 | All Working Groups, Close dumpsites, ISWA blog, ISWA news

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) took place in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021. The COP26 summit brought together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

ISWA was present in Glasgow representing the waste and resource management sector. During an Official Side-Event hosted in partnership with UN-Habitat, Engineering X – an international collaboration founded by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), WasteAid, Emory University and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), a panel of speakers shared their expertise and knowledge on the impact of open burning on  climate change and global health.

A wasted opportunity: open burning of waste causes a climate and health calamity

8 November, 2021

With the active support of our members and partners, we were bold in our messages and pledges, so setting the stage for the waste industry to be recognized as an active contributor towards a net zero future by 2050.

ISWA’s main messages at the COP26 Side Event were:

    1. ISWA believes that a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a human right. Sound waste management plays a key role in achieving liveable environments across the globe. Read the recently approved ISWA Declaration on Climate Change and the Waste an Resource Management Sector and the UN Human Rights Council’s message on declaring the right to a healthy environment.


    2. The impact of open burning on climate change is almost double that of the aviation industry, but rarely acknowledged. This is the first time that open burning will be discussed at a high-level forum, and ISWA is proud to be bringing this serious issue to attention on an international stage. Watch ISWA’s webinar on Health and Climate Imperatives to Address Open Burning of Waste, and read the Global Review on Safer End of Engineering Life report produced by Engineering X, an international collaboration founded by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


    3. ISWA commits itself to support its members, partners and stakeholders engaged in the waste industry and circular economy, and to contribute with all possible measures to support the realisation of the international climate targets as set by the Paris Agreement. ISWA further pledges itself to the actualisation of those goals by developing bankable projects through cross-sectoral cooperation towards a net zero future by 2050. Read about ISWA’s current and future projects and contributions in our most recent publication “The Future of the Waste Management Sector”.


    ISWA participated in three events:


    1. ISWA & Partners Official Side Event: “A wasted opportunity – open burning of waste causes a climate and health calamity” – 8 November, 13:15 – 14:30 GMT, in Multimedia Studio 2.


    1. Abt Associates Side Event at the World Health Organization’s pavilion: “The case for Mitigating Black Carbon – Climate and Health Co-benefits” – 9 November, 17:00 – 18:00 GMT


    1. CCAC Climate & Clean Air Ministerial Meeting: bringing together CCAC Ministers and Partners to adopt the CCAC 2030 Strategy, stepping up our ambitions and actions to address climate and clean air issues, with a special focus on methane.


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