National Statement by the Mr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark at the 3rd meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-3), 4-6 December 2017.

My name is Esben Lunde Larsen, and I am the Minister for Environment and Food of Denmark

I want to live in a clean environment. I think we all do.

The theme of this Assembly – Towards a Pollution Free Planet – is a very timely one.

It is closely related to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals - tackling pollution will be crucial for reaching the goals.

The challenges are substantial. And while some types of pollution are local, many do not respect national borders.

This third Environment Assembly provides a unique and important opportunity to address key issues of common concern – and to set in motion actions across governments and all other relevant stakeholders.

Urgent action is needed.

Pollution is responsible for more than 9 million premature deaths each year - making it the largest environmental cause of disease and premature deaths in the world today. And deaths associated with ambient air, chemical and soil pollution are rising on a global scale .  

This cannot be allowed to continue.

Denmark strongly supports efforts to achieve ambitious and actionable outcomes at this meeting, including a Ministerial Declaration and resolutions that will inspire countries and stakeholders to act.

I would like to highlight the draft resolutions on environment and health, on air pollution and on marine litter and microplastics.

These cover key issues, where we need urgent action to reverse the pollution trends.

We all have to take action, including businesses, which I believe has a central role in curbing pollution by promoting sustainable consumption and production.

Denmark acts - on our own and with our partners in the EU and internationally.

Denmark is a strong believer in international collaboration to reduce pollution and promote sustainable development.

The Danish parliament recently approved an extensive plan for the promotion of sound chemicals management that includes elements such as research in effects of chemicals, protection of vulnerable groups, sound consumer information and promotion of strong international regulation of hazardous substances.

Earlier this year the Danish Prime Minister, together with Chile, Ethiopia, Kenya, The Republic of Korea, Mexico and Vietnam, launched an initiative called P4G, or Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 – focusing on partnerships between national and city authorities, businesses and civil society.

We encourage others to also engage in partnerships that can help to advance sustainable solutions.

I wish you all the best of success with the assembly, and assure you of Denmark’s continued commitment to promote a Pollution Free Planet.