The GEF is charged with eliminating the most harmful chemicals, which are covered by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The GEF also supports the achievement of broader sound management of chemicals and waste through its support to the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the United Nation's policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world.

The GEF has developed two key strategic objectives regarding chemicals and waste:

  • Develop the enabling conditions, tools, and environment for the sound management of harmful chemicals and wastes;
  • Reduce the prevalence of harmful chemicals and waste and support the implementation of clean alternative technologies/substances.