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Climate International


If all goes according to plan, by the end of the year, some 170 countries will finalize the world’s first legally binding treaty to curtail plastic pollution. Its success will depend in no small part on money: creating a funding pipeline so that signatories, especially in the Global South, can execute the promises they agree to.

For the moment, the specifics of this financing remain bound up in diplomatic haggling. Still, countries broadly agree that billions of dollars are a necessary, if modest, starting point; modeling studies have pegged the need anywhere between $3 trillion and $17 trillion. Disagreements center on how to raise it, who should administer it, and what to spend it on.

But these differences are unlikely to sink a treaty whose urgency has never been more apparent to national leaders. Each year some 20 million metric tons of plastic, roughly the mass of 200 aircraft carriers, enter the environment. Microscopic shreds of the stuff are increasingly found not just in nature’s remotest reaches, including Mount Everest and the Mariana Trench, but throug... Read more

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