Move towards global mercury treaty
At a UN environment programme (UNEP) working group meeting in Bangkok on 23 October, world governments have agreed on the timetable and rules for formal talks to draw up a binding global treaty on mercury pollution. A first meeting of the International Negotiating Committee (INC) will be held in Stockholm in June 2010. A total of five INC meetings will be held before the treaty’s expected adoption in 2013.
The environmentalist coalition Zero Mercury Working Group welcomed a decision that will allow green groups to participate in the INC meetings. Technical and financial assistance for the treaty’s implementation in developing countries should also be “addressed early on”, the coalition said.