The letter written to the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide, received signatures from scientists working at 28 Norwegian universities, institutes and businesses.

"The opinion of the Norwegian scientific community is clear," explain the scientists organising the letter. "We see a clear need for the UN to establish an international scientific panel, with a similar mandate as the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)”. They further state that establishing such a panel is essential to address the global threat of pollution with chemicals and waste.

The UN Environment Assembly decides

The establishment of this panel will be discussed and voted upon at the upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), to be held in Nairobi Kenya, 28 February – 2 March 2022, chaired by the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Espen Barth Eide. According to the scientists, “this provides an excellent opportunity to show Norway’s strong commitment to protecting the environment at an international level.”

"While drafting the letter, we learnt that both the Norwegian Government and Minister Eide support the establishment of a pollution panel," say the scientists, "and we are very happy to hear this. Nevertheless it is important to publish this letter to show the support of the Norwegian scientific community to the position of the Norwegian government.

More than 2000 researchers globally

Many other countries around the world are supporting the establishment of a pollution panel, including Austria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. “We are in good company and our colleagues in several other countries have signed similar letters." In total, over 2000 scientists worldwide have signed a global petition to support establishing.

"The clear signal from the scientific community for this new panel shows that current international frameworks are inefficient in preventing pollution, and that science-based action is needed at the global level," say the scientists.

The researchers organizing the letter were

The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. NGI develops optimum solutions for society, and offers expertise on the behaviour of soil, rock and snow and their interaction with the natural and built environment. NGI works within the markets Offshore energy; Building, construction and transportation; Natural hazards, and Environmental Engineering. NGI is a private foundation with office and laboratory in Oslo, branch office in Trondheim, and daughter companies in Houston, Texas, USA, and Perth, Western Australia. NGI was established in 1953.