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Key issues at stake at COP1 on the Minamata Convention, Geneva, 24–29 September 2017

14-09-2017

• The Minamata Convention has been welcomed as a major step in the fight against mercury related health hazards. During COP1, Parties will discuss several topics of the agreement, debate amendments and adopt Articles or guidance. The public and private sector are encouraging Parties to take concrete actions during COP1. • The issue of effectiveness evaluation must be monitored closely as it will set the foundation for the future. Defining common methods and monitoring tools will be essential when ...

• The Minamata Convention has been welcomed as a major step in the fight against mercury related health hazards. During COP1, Parties will discuss several topics of the agreement, debate amendments and adopt Articles or guidance. The public and private sector are encouraging Parties to take concrete actions during COP1. • The issue of effectiveness evaluation must be monitored closely as it will set the foundation for the future. Defining common methods and monitoring tools will be essential when it comes to assessing the concrete impact of the Convention. • Guidance on mercury supply sources and trade will be adopted with the aim of phasing out the use of mercury products. Most of the world resources are localised in a few countries, therefore finding alternatives for these Parties will be of high importance. • Artisanal and small scale gold mining is often an illegal activity, which is hard to monitor and impacts the local environment. The guidance to be adopted will have to consider the reality of the communities concerned and associated ethical issues. • In regard to mercury emissions and releases, best practices and guidelines have been developed for countries to better develop inventories and set National Action Plans. A special focus is provided on open burning practices, which are currently poorly characterised despite their negative environmental impact. • One of the key challenges of the COP1 will be to agree on harmonised thresholds for the definition of contaminated sites and mercury waste, which should be based on experience sharing.

Parlamendiväline autor

Marion Planchon

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

24-05-2017

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. EU policy banned exports of mercury, provided for the storage of mercury waste, restricted the use of mercury in various products and sought to address pollution ...

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. EU policy banned exports of mercury, provided for the storage of mercury waste, restricted the use of mercury in various products and sought to address pollution caused by it. However, there were some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. In February 2016, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 17 May 2017. The regulation will apply from 1 January 2018.

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

10-03-2017

Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, or water, or the soil, remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. In February 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal intended to align European Union (EU) legislation with the United Nation's Minamata Convention on mercury signed in 2013. First-reading negotiations with the Council delivered a compromise, which now awaits a vote in the March II plenary.

Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, or water, or the soil, remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. In February 2016, the Commission put forward a legislative proposal intended to align European Union (EU) legislation with the United Nation's Minamata Convention on mercury signed in 2013. First-reading negotiations with the Council delivered a compromise, which now awaits a vote in the March II plenary.

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

25-10-2016

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides ...

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides for the storage of mercury waste, restricts the use of mercury in various products and seeks to address pollution caused by it. However, there are some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. The European Commission has recently submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. The European Parliament's Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted its report on 13 October 2016. Interinstitutional negotiations are expected to start in November. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

07-07-2016

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides ...

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides for the storage of mercury waste, restricts the use of mercury in various products and seeks to address pollution caused by it. However, there are some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. The European Commission has recently submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. The rapporteur for the European Parliament's Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has presented his draft report on the proposal. The deadline for submission of amendments is 13 July 2016. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Regulation on Mercury Aligning EU legislation with the Minamata Convention: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

14-04-2016

This note provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal which was adopted on 2 February 2016 and has been referred to Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The IA clearly identifies and defines the problems, demonstrating that EU action is necessary to address them, within the existing regulatory framework. The analysis emphasises that in this case EU action is further ...

This note provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal which was adopted on 2 February 2016 and has been referred to Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The IA clearly identifies and defines the problems, demonstrating that EU action is necessary to address them, within the existing regulatory framework. The analysis emphasises that in this case EU action is further justified by the external competence of the EU and its legal right to act in the context of an international agreement. The analysis of options mainly focuses on the alternatives within the 'ratification' scenario, whereas less prominence is given to the assessment of impacts under the hypothesis of 'non EU action', which is an option clearly ruled out from the outset. Stakeholders have been consulted on two main occasions (workshop and public consultation) and the IA reports extensively on the results of that consultation process. However, most of the preferred options identified in the IA – and which feature in the Commission's legislative proposal - differ from the opinion expressed by the relative majority of stakeholders who responded to the questionnaire used for the public consultation.

Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata

18-03-2016

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides ...

The United Nations' Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment. Once emitted into the air or water, mercury can travel over long distances, which makes it a global problem. Current EU policy bans exports of mercury, provides for the storage of mercury waste, restricts the use of mercury in various products and seeks to address pollution caused by it. However, there are some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. The European Commission has recently submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification. Stakeholders are divided over the proposal. The European Parliament's Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is expected to consider the proposal in the coming months. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

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