140 countries agree mercury treaty

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/19/140-countries-agree-mercury-treaty

Delegates at UN talks approve measures to curb pollution, but some campaigners say they are not tough enough

Staff and agencies
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 19 January 2013

More than 140 nations have agreed on the first legally-binding treaty to curb mercury pollution.

Delegates at UN talks in Geneva approved measures to control the use of the highly toxic metal, which is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, in order to limit mercury emissions.

The executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, said: “To agree on global targets is not easy to do. There was no delegation here that wished to leave Geneva without drafting a treaty.”

“We have closed a chapter on a journey that has taken four years of often intense, but ultimately successful negotiations and opened a new chapter towards a sustainable future,” said Fernando Lugris, the Uruguayan diplomat who chaired the negotiations.

A signing ceremony will be held later this year in Japan, and then 50 nations must ratify it before it comes into force, which UN officials said they would expect to happen within about three to four years.

But some supporters of a new mercury treaty said they were not satisfied with the agreement.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jan/19/140-countries-agree-mercury-treaty

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