Paris meeting to agree new North Sea treaty

Environment Ministers from 14 countries will meet in Paris on 21-22 September to adopt a Convention on the protection of the North Sea and north-east Atlantic. The new treaty is broader and stronger than its two predecessors, and will be accompanied by an Action Plan listing the pollutants and industries which will be priorities for control. The UK will be involved in a dispute over whether the Convention should ban radioactive waste dumping at sea. Over a dozen rules on specific pollutants and industries will also be up for adoption.

The new Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic will replace two Conventions which have governed polluting activities in the area since the mid-1970s.

The Oslo Convention was signed in 1972 following the growth in industrial waste dumping off the European coast in the late 1960s. The trigger was the affair of the Stella Maris, a ship laden with 650 tonnes of chlorinated hydrocarbon wastes from th

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