Global Chemicals Outlook

The Global Chemicals Outlook Project

UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch, with the support of the governments of Norway and Sweden and in collaboration with Governments from developed and developing countries, IOMC organizations, OECD, other organizations, private sector and civil society, is currently developing a practical way forward on bringing further clarity and policy relevance to the issue the Global Chemicals Outlook (GCO) on sound management of chemicals (SMC) is currently developing a flagship Global Chemicals Outlook to aid in framing the current understanding of trends in chemicals production and use, economic implications, and policy options.

  • Why the Global Chemicals Outlook?

While the bulk of chemicals production and trade historically took place in European and North American countries, recent trends show that patterns are changing as chemicals industry is globalizing. The progressive shift of production of certain types of chemicals to developing countries and countries with economy in transition, with chemicals consumption growing at faster rates in non-OECD countries, now requires a more global approach to chemicals management.

The contribution of sound management of chemicals to preserve the ecosystems integrity, to minimize wasted resources, to maximize community self sufficiency, and to optimize access to economic opportunities needs to be recognized as a key factor for engaging economies on a green path. The new approach has therefore to consider current chemicals policies in relation to the special situation of developing countries and countries in transition, to tackle the related root causes for human health and environmental degradation, to develop tools and methodologies for assessing the full economic impact of chemicals, and to provide the related policy and management options for promoting and implementing safer alternatives.

The Global Chemicals Outlook aims to provide a coherent framework for assessing and setting priorities to support an integrated comprehensive chemicals policy, to stimulate further international attention and action in this field, and to promote the transition to the green and sustainable chemistry.

This section provides detailed information on the Global Chemicals Outlook, the process of its development, and links to related documents and websites. Click on the links in the section’s map to access specific sub-sections.

Next: Background

For more information on the Global Chemicals Outlook, please contact:
Mr Pierre Quiblier, Scientific Affairs Officer, Chemicals Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), United Nations Environment Programme, tel: + 41 22 917 81 84, e-mail:

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