NEW DELHI: India is leading two global resolutions at the United Nations Environment Assembly to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, later this month. While one of the resolutions is on reactive nitrogen, the other is on eradicating single-use plastic. This is the first time that India will lead a resolution on the use of plastic.
“Excess nitrogen pollution has tremendous consequences on humans and the environment. In the form of nitrous oxide, for example, it is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, in addition to the effects of various nitrogen compounds on air quality and the ozone layer,” the report released by the UN Environment Assembly read.
“Altogether, humans are producing a cocktail of reactive nitrogen that threatens health, climate and ecosystems, making nitrogen one of the most important pollution issues facing humanity,” the report stated.
In the molecule form, nitrogen is harmless, making up 78 per cent of every breath we take. In terms of plastic use, the report warns of dire consequences of single-use plastics.
“Most plastics are non-biodegradable and single-use plastics are more dangerous as they are discarded after one use. This leads to accumulation.” Professor N Raghuram, chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative, expressed happiness that both resolutions, which are important, are garnering attention.
“They are still being discussed, including some suggestions for slight modifications. So far so good, as far as resolution is concerned. On plastic, the suggestion to India is to merge it with other relevant resolutions, but nothing has been finalised yet,” he said.