Cracks emerge over mercury treaty

An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) tasked with setting up a legally binding global treaty on mercury by 2013 met for its first session in early June

An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) tasked with setting up a legally binding global treaty on mercury by 2013 met for its first session in early June.

Unanimous agreement on the need for a treaty, reached last year at the UN Global Ministerial Environmental Forum, was greeted as a sign of greater international environmental cooperation (ENDS Report 410, pp 58-59).

But after the INC’s first meeting in Stockholm, cracks began to emerge between the positions of developed and emerging economies among the 132 participating nations. Key areas of disagreement are compliance mechanisms and controls on atmospheric emissions of mercury during coal combustion.

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