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Nations must get past differences to cooperate on the environment

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Global environmental problems know no national borders. Efforts by many nations to solve them can be easily gummed up by a small number of countries refusing to join in.

In their recent meeting in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, energy and environment ministers of the Group of 20 countries reached an agreement that represents a step forward in international efforts to deal with the increasingly serious problem of plastic pollution of oceans.

But their failure to make any notable progress on climate change during their two-day meeting at the famous summer resort underscored the difficulty of engineering global cooperation to tackle borderless environmental challenges.

The G-20 ministers agreed to set up an international framework to report and share measures to reduce marine plastic waste, the first of its kind.

Under the new program, member countries will periodically report their measures to decrease the volume of marine plastic waste, including recycling and collection, and share information on those efforts.

Few countries have disputed the need to establish a system for international cooperation to deal........

© The Asahi Shimbun