Here Comes the Mercury Emissions Control Treaty

by Julian Ku

This treaty was totally NOT on my radar screen.  But as the NYT reports:

More than 140 nations adopted the first legally binding international treaty on Saturday aimed at reducing mercury emissions, after four years of negotiations on ways to set limits on the use of a highly toxic metal.

The treaty was adopted after all-night negotiations that followed a week of talks in Geneva, United Nations environmental officials and diplomats said. A signing ceremony will be held later this year in Japan, and then 50 nations must ratify the agreement before it comes into force, which officials said they expected to happen within three or four years.

I haven’t been following this at all, but I wonder what the dynamics of the negotiations were.  I have the vague impression that this shapes up to a be a developed country/developing country negotiation, with the US and Europe pushing for more aggressive emission limits and controls. But maybe I have this wrong.  I am curious if anyone out there has a copy of the draft treaty text that I can link to here, and/or any commentary on the new treaty.

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