Heavy metals treaty updated

In December, countries in Europe and North America ended three years of negotiations by agreeing updated emission control requirements for particulate matter and the three heavy metals cadmium, lead and mercury, by adopting amendments to the 1998 Protocol on Heavy Metals under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution.

To meet the emission limit values in the protocol, countries must apply the best available techniques to existing and new stationary emission sources such as combustion, manufacturing and other production plants.

To encourage and enable countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to join the amended protocol in the coming years, considerable flexibilities in the obligations for these countries were introduced into the text.

The 1998 Protocol on Heavy Metals entered into force in 2003 and currently has 31 parties.

Source: UN ECE press release, 19 December 2012.

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