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2013 Mercury Conference discusses the Minamata Convention

World Coal,

The 2013 International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant (ICMGP) took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 28 July – 2 August. More than 900 representatives from over 65 countries attended the event, which looked at mercury and its impact on the environment.

The conference kicked off with welcome addresses from Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish minister for the environment and climate change; Anders Flanking (via Loic Viatte), state secretary, Ministry of Environment, Sweden; David Piper, department head, UNEP Chemicals Branch. The event also included a free open day, providing members of the public with the opportunity to learn more about mercury.

Minemata Convention on Mercury discussed

With 417 papers delivered and seven sessions running in parallel twice daily throughout the conference, the event inevitably covered a wide range of topics, including coal incineration and artisanal gold mining. However, the main focus was ‘Science informing global policy’, with many of the presentations discussing the new UNEP Minamata Convention on Mercury and how this could be put into practice through R&D initiatives.

“Many of the most impressive presentations were given by young researchers and students, which is very encouraging because these are the people that will endorse changes and monitor mercury for compliance with the treaty,” commented conference chair, Dr Lesley Sloss.

The video below features highlights from a press conference held on the first day of the convention.

Cutting mercury emissions

Mercury emissions have been a particularly topic for discussion in the US, where the recent Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) has seen a rise in demand for mercury abatement technologies, such as activated carbon injection and dry sorbent injection.

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham with additional material by Jonathan Rowland

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