A new international pact will force companies to disclose the pollutants they emit, factory by factory. The treaty, negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ece), was finalised in Geneva by more than 30 countries of Europe, Central Asia and North America. The accord will mandate companies to list the contaminants they release into the air, water and soil or transfer to other firms.
The pact draws up a list of 86 threatening pollutants, including greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, heavy metals and carcinogens such as dioxins. It also requires governments to set up national "pollutant release and transfer' registers that the public can access for information on polluting factories in their neighbourhood.
The treaty is open to accession by any un member state.