PPC Webinar | Policy Matters: The UN Global Plastics Treaty

October 26, 2023 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

We are living in a time requiring unprecedented action to address the intertwined plastic pollution and climate crises and their toxic, unjust impacts on people and the planet. Right now, we have an opportunity to address these deeply interconnected and critical challenges within a United Nations (UN) Plastics Treaty, which is set to be finalized by 2025. With the third of five rounds of negotiations scheduled to take place next month in Nairobi, Kenya, this is a critical time to work toward an effective, equitable UN Plastics Treaty that stops plastics and fossil fuels at the source. Last month, the UN released a Zero Draft, the earliest iteration of the treaty which shows that, despite this being a big step forward, there is still much work to do.

During our October 26 webinar, we will discuss the latest developments in the UN Plastics Treaty negotiations with: Jo Banner, Co-Founder & Co-Director for The Descendants Project; Christopher Chin, Executive Director at the Center for Oceanic Awareness Research and Education; Justine Maillot, European Coordinator at Break Free From Plastic; and Larke Williams, Lead Plastic Pollution Negotiator at the U.S. Department of State. The conversation will be led by moderator Rachel Radvany, Program Associate for Plastics Policy at the Center for International Environmental Law.

Date: Thurs., October 26
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


Panelists

Jo Banner

Jo Banner (she/her) is the co-founder of The Descendants Project, where she works to challenge systems, primarily legal systems that have exploited the descendants, such as herself, of those enslaved to plantations. As a resident of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, Jo champions environmental justice causes and is actively developing strategies to transform land slated for use by pollutant-causing industries into green spaces where communities like hers can thrive. She has spoken before the United Nations and participated in the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. Jo works with several industries, including entertainment, tourism, and green jobs, to provide job options outside the petrochemical industry. Jo utilizes both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Communications to protect Louisiana’s people and its environment fiercely.


Christopher Chin

Christopher Chin is a SCUBA Master Instructor whose passion for the ocean stems back to childhood. He is an accomplished underwater videographer and writer whose footage and work have been featured on the Discovery Channel and Shark Week. In 2006, Christopher co-founded The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE), and he continues to serve as its Executive Director. Christopher is an internationally recognized expert in ocean policy and conservation issues, and has authored, supported, and defended a multitude of laws affecting ocean health and resources. Christopher is an avid advocate for Environmental Justice and co-authored the report “Neglected: Environmental Justice Impacts of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution”, published by UNEP in 2021. Christopher is an active participant in international fora and has addressed various bodies of the United Nations on a multitude of occasions, and is actively working towards a new global treaty to address plastic pollution.


Justine Maillot

Justine is the Coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic Movement in Europe.  She has an educational background in international, European and environmental law. After working at the EU Unit of Greenpeace for four years on EU ocean and fisheries policy and a 18 month break to work on small, local projects, she joined Surfrider Foundation Europe. This is where she began to work on EU policies on plastic pollution and contributed to the work of the Rethink Plastic alliance and BFFP movement, notably on the Single Use Plastics Directive. Justine then transitioned to Zero Waste Europe and the coordination team of the Rethink Plastic alliance in 2019. She became Coordinator of the Break Free From Plastic Movement in Europe in January 2023.


Larke Williams
Larke Williams

Larke Williams (she/her) is the Lead Plastic Pollution Negotiator in the U.S. Department of State, serving as the senior advisor on plastic pollution and waste management. She has been with the Department since 2016 working on chemicals, air quality and waste issues, and previously served at the U.S. Environmental Protection agency working on climate change, air quality, hydraulic fracturing, and environmental justice. Larke grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from University of California San Diego in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and earned an M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American University in 2009.


Moderator

Rachel Radvany

Rachel Radvany (she/her) is the Program Associate for Plastics Policy on the Environmental Health team at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL). She supports the Environmental Health team’s work protecting communities and the environment from the toxic impacts of plastics and other chemicals. She contributes to the team’s work in advancing the negotiation of an ambitious and effective Global Plastics Treaty, including supporting the facilitation of the global Civil Society and Rights Holders Coalition that is weighing in on the negotiations.


Resources

September 19, 2023 , 5:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

Plastic pollution is an urgent threat to the climate, human health, communities, the environment, and wildlife. With industries set to triple their plastic production by 2060, public support for policies to reduce plastic pollution is growing across the world. From implementing bag bans and fees on single-use plastics, to rules that strengthen regulations on industrial polluters, communities and policymakers are using many strategies to address the growing plastic pollution crisis. Plastic pollution ultimately needs to be stopped at the source, and encouragingly, leaders in the United States are working to develop policy solutions that do just that. Bills like the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and Reducing Waste in National Parks Act are legislative solutions intended to reduce and prevent single-use plastic and plastic’s many forms of pollution from impacting our climate, communities, waterways, and natural wonders.

During our September 19 webinar, we will discuss policy solutions for addressing plastic pollution in the United States. Learn about what the Biden Administration is doing from Jonathan Black, Senior Director for Chemical Safety and Plastic Pollution Prevention at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Also joining will be Joan Mooney, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Management and Budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior; and Jane Patton, U.S. Fossil Economy Campaign Manager at the Center for International Environmental Law. The conversation will be moderated by Christy Leavitt, Campaign Director for Oceana. 

Date: Tues., September 19
Time: 2-3 pm PT | 5-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.


PANELISTS

Jonathan Black

Jonathan Black (he/him) is the Senior Director for Chemical Safety and Plastic Pollution Prevention at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, a component of the Executive Office of the President. He previously served as a Special Assistant to the President & Senate Legislative Liaison from January 2021 to October 2022 where he worked on some of President Biden’s signature legislative achievements, like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. Prior to that, Jonathan served nearly 20 years in the U.S. Senate working on energy and environmental issues, including chemical safety and plastic pollution issues. He was a Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources for Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). He is originally from Long Island, New York.


Joan Mooney

Joan Mooney is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Management and Budget for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She most recently was President and CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute, working closely with lawmakers, federal officials, and Board Chair Emeritus Congressman John Lewis at the intersection of their values and public service to advance productive discourse and constructive collaboration. Mooney served as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Congressional and Legislative Affairs, leading efforts to secure significant increases in agency funding, and as Chief of Staff and Budget Associate for a western Oregon member of Congress. She has degrees from George Mason University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jane Patton

Jane Patton (she/her) is the U.S. Fossil Economy Campaign Manager at the Center for International Environmental Law. Since 2016, Jane’s work has focused on organizing and coordinating groups around the world and in her home state of Louisiana in the fight against petrochemical pollution, plastics, and carbon capture and storage. You can find the latest on CIEL’s plastics policy work here.


MODERATOR

Christy Leavitt

Christy Leavitt (she/her) is Oceana’s Plastics Campaign Director, overseeing the organization’s U.S. initiatives to address the plastic pollution crisis and curb its devastating impacts on our oceans, climate, and communities. In this role, Christy leads Oceana’s policy experts, scientists, and field team in advocating for federal, state, and local government policies that reduce the production and use of single-use plastics. Under her leadership, Oceana has campaigned to pass more than a dozen state laws and 60 local plastic reduction policies. She has testified before Congressional and state committees and been quoted in numerous news outlets. This fall she will be featured in a new PBS documentary called “We’re All Plastic People Now” about the pervasiveness of plastic pollution in our lives. Christy has advocated and organized for strong environmental policies for more than two decades. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Occidental College.


RESOURCES