2008 – Margot Wallström


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Award Winner 2008

Theo Colborn.
USA
Jan Ahlbom and Ulf Duus.
Sweden
Margot Wallström.
Sweden

Modern society is dependent on the use of an enormous amount of chemical compounds. Obviously they contribute to our welfare and comfort, but unfortunately are also the source of a number of frightening and, in part, unknown effects on humans and the environment. Addressing and solving these complex issues requires broad strategies in which science, politics and market mechanisms all play key roles.

The 2008 Göteborg Award for Sustainable Development is shared in three equal parts by:
THEO COLBORN, MARGOT WALLSTRÖM and JAN AHLBOM and ULF DUUS from Göteborg.

This is the ninth Göteborg Award and the prize sum is one million Swedish crowns. The Award was founded by the City of Göteborg and several interested companies in 1999. Its purpose is to “stimulate and encourage strategic work for national and international sustainable development”.

THE PRIZE IS AWARDED BY THE CITY OF GÖTEBORG AND THE COMPANIES:
The Second AP Fund, Carl Bennet AB, Elanders AB, Eldan Recycling, Folksam, Götaverken Miljö, Handelsbanken, Nordea, Peab, Schenker AB, SKF and Stena Metall AB.

-Our global chemical society is sitting on a ticking bomb and we have to disarm it! The2008 Göteborg Award goes to four uniquely distinguished persons who through their everyday work in research, politics and market mechanisms have laid the foundation for a long-term “detoxifcation” of the world,” says Stefan Edman biologist, author, and Chairman of the jury.

-Our comfortable lifestyle is based on a bunch of clever chemicals like dishwashing liquid, lubricants and preservatives. But the downside is the enormous sludge of known and unknown substances that poison ecosystems and infict humans with cancer and other illnesses.”

The award winners will receive their prize at a ceremony on the 12th of November in Göteborg.

Presentation

European Commission Vice President Margot Wallström was during her mandate as the European Commissioner for the Environment one of the key persons behind the formation
of REACH, the most progressive legislative instrument for chemical control worldwide, and one of the most far-reaching environmental laws in the European Union. REACH is based on the precautionary principle, reversed burden of proof and substitution, with a special focus on substances that are persistent (non-biodegradable), toxic and bio-accumulating, i.e. they accumulate in animals and plants. Despite strong resistance from commercial interests, EU Comissioner Wallström succeeded in launching REACH as an important first step toward a new, more sustainable way of controlling and environmentally adapting the use of chemicals in our society.

Motivation

Modern society is dependent on the use of an enormous amount of chemical compounds. Obviously they contribute to our welfare and comfort, but unfortunately are also the source of a number of frightening and, in part, unknown effects on humans and the environment. Addressing and solving these complex issues requires broad strategies in which science, politics and market mechanisms all play key roles.

Consequently, the 2008 Göteborg Award for Sustainable Development will go to four highly distinguished persons in these sectors, who have in different but complementary ways helped to reveal, describe and combat the negative effects of man-made chemicals on ecological systems and human health.

The prize, one million Swedish crowns, is shared in three equal parts, and goes to Theo Colborn, Margot Wallström as well as Jan Ahlbom and Ulf Duus.

Links

Regeringen
www.regeringen.se

Grön Kemi
www.gronkemi.nu