New global treaty cuts mercury emissions and releases, sets up controls on products, mines and industrial plants

  • 10/10/2013

New global treaty cuts mercury emissions and releases, sets up controls on products, mines and industrial plants Japan among the first to sign Minamata Convention on Mercury Kumamoto, Japan, 10 October 2013: Japan, a country which has come to epitomize mercury poisoning in modern times, today became one of the first countries to sign a historic new international convention to reduce emissions and releases of the toxic metal into air, land and water and to phase out many products that contain mercury.The Minamata Convention on Mercury - a global, legally binding treaty which opened for signature today - was agreed to by governments in January and formally adopted as international law today.T The new treaty is the first new global convention on environment and health for close to a decade. Coming at a time when some multilateral negotiations have faced challenges, its successful negotiation, after a four-year process, provides a new momentum to intergovernmental cooperation on the environment. Its agreement is also significant in that many countries, despite the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, remained prepared to commit resources to combating the harmful effects of mercury. Read full text of this UNEP Press release here http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2752&ArticleID=9647&l=en