Review of progress towards elimination of PCBs

The Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention reviews progress towards elimination of PCBs (paragraph (h) of Part II of Annex A to the Convention), every four years at its ordinary meetings, taking into account the information provided in the national reports submitted by Parties pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention.

At its ninth meeting, the Conference of the Parties adopted decision SC-9/3, by which it took note of the report on progress towards the elimination of PCB (UNEP/POPS/COP.9/INF/10) and the recommendations of the small intersessional working group (UNEP/POPS/COP.9/6/Add.1), and:

  • Urged Parties to step up their efforts, inter alia, by urgently implementing actions to eliminate the use of PCB in equipment by 2025 and to achieve the environmentally sound management as waste of liquids containing PCB and equipment contaminated with PCB having a content above 0.005% by 2028;
  • Encouraged Parties to endeavour to identify, as soon as possible, open applications such as cable sheaths, cured caulk and painted objects containing more than 0.005% PCB and to manage them in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Convention.

The Conference of the Parties decided to undertake, at its eleventh meeting, a review of progress towards the elimination of PCB in accordance with paragraph (h) of part II of Annex A to the Convention and urged Partied to provide information on progress in eliminating PCB in their fifth national reports, to be submitted pursuant to Article 15 of the Convention by 31 August 2022, in accordance with paragraph (g) of part II of Annex A to the Convention.

The report on progress towards the elimination of PCB and the recommendations of the small intersessional working group were developed thanks to the generous financial support provided by the European Union and the Governments of Japan and Norway and through online meetings and a face-to-face meeting held in Prague from 12 to 14 December 2018.

Nomination of experts for the small intersessional working group and lead country

In paragraph 6 of decision SC-9/3, the Conference of the Parties decided to re-establish a small intersessional working group on PCB. The group will be working by electronic means and, subject to the availability of resources, through a face-to-face meeting, to assist the Secretariat in preparing the following, for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its eleventh meeting:

  • A report on progress towards the elimination of polychlorinated biphenyls;
  • Guidance on a standardized approach to developing inventories of polychlorinated biphenyls and to analysis for the identification and quantification of polychlorinated biphenyls, as recommended by the small intersessional working group;
  • A draft strategy for Parties to meet the 2025 and 2028 goals of the Stockholm Convention.

In response to the invitation by the Conference of the Parties in decision SC-9/3, the Government of Colombia indicated its interest in serving as lead country in the preparation of the above-mentioned report. The list of experts nominated by Parties and observers to participate in the small intersessional working group is available here: List of PCB SIWG members.

Workplan of the small intersessional working group

The small intersessional working group on PCB held its first online meeting on 8 July 2020. Information the meeting is available here.  The working group agreed on its workplan as set out in the annex to the meeting report: