Zero Mercury Working Group Calls For Binding International Treaty

The Zero Mercury Working Group is calling on the world’s governments to adopt a binding international treaty at the UNEP Governing Council meeting in Nairobi, 5-9 February for many of the same reasons recently presented by the Nordic Ministers. Following up on that, a proposed draft decision on a global framework for international action on mercury, lead and cadmium was recently submitted by Gambia, Iceland, Norway, Senegal and Switzerland to the twenty-fourth session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum. Unfortunately, the U.S. Government does not appear particularly receptive to such an approach even though an association of state governments has been calling for a stronger stance. While the European Commission has proposed a ban on the export of mercury to address the Global Toxic Trade in mercury that threatens artisanal & small scale miners globally, some maintain that restricting exports will result in more primary mercury mining, but research conducted for the European Commission indicates that this is highly unlikely.