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22 September 2017

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PRESS RELEASE: 

New treaty effectiveness will depend on adequacy of data to be collected, say NGOs  

Geneva, Switzerland


Prior to the start of the first Conference of Parties (COP1), the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) welcomed the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. 

“While there are alternatives to mercury, there are no alternatives to global cooperation,” said Michael Bender, international ZMWG coordinator. “We applaud the world’s governments for committing to curtail this dangerous neurotoxin.”

The First Conference of the Parties will take place from 24 to 29 September 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.  Over 1,000 delegates and around 50 ministers are expected to assemble in Geneva to celebrate and lay the groundwork for the treaty’s overall effectiveness.
 
During the prior negotiations, the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) approved many of the forms and guidance that the Convention specifies must be adopted at COP 1, which are needed for the swift and smooth launch and running of the Convention.  These include guidance documents on identifying stocks, determining best available technologies and reducing mercury use in small scale gold mining; as well as forms for trade procedures and for exemptions from certain deadlines.

“These INC approvals were achieved by consensus after considerable deliberations, and are ready for approval without further debate,” said Satish Sinha, Toxics Link India.

Among the most critical open issues to be discussed at COP1 are the reporting requirements, which will provide critical information on both the global mercury situation and the effectiveness of the Convention in achieving mercury reductions.   Particularly critical to collect will be data on mercury production and trade, which can change significantly in a short period of time.

 “Countries will not have readily available information about production and trade in bordering countries or within their region, unless there is frequent reporting under the Convention,” said David Lennett, Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council “Many borders between countries are “porous,” and where a significant portion of mercury trade is informal/illegal.   Good data on legal trade flows will enable actions to address illegal trade, all of which has a huge impact on artisanal and small scale gold mining, the largest source of mercury pollution globally.

Mercury is a global pollutant that travels long distances. Its most toxic form – methylmercury - accumulates in large predatory fish and is taken up in our bodies through eating fish, with the worst impacts on babies in utero

For more information, see:

http://www.mercuryconvention.org

www.zeromercury.org

Contacts:


Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Project Coordinator ‘Zero Mercury Campaign’, European Environmental Bureau, ZMWG International Coordinator
T: +32 2 2891301,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Michael Bender, ZMWG International Coordinator, T: +1 802 917 8222,   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For information on reporting, please contact David Lennett, Natural Resources Defense Council, T:  +1 202 460 8517   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For further information, please contact:

*The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) is an international coalition of over 95 public interest environmental and health non-governmental organizations from more than 50 countries from around the world formed in 2005 by the European Environmental Bureau and the Mercury Policy Project.  ZMWG strives for zero supply, demand, and emissions of mercury from all anthropogenic sources, with the goal of reducing mercury in the global environment to a minimum.  Our mission is to advocate and support the adoption and implementation of a legally binding instrument which contains mandatory obligations to eliminate where feasible, and otherwise minimize, the global supply and trade of mercury, the global demand for mercury, anthropogenic releases of mercury to the environment, and human and wildlife exposure to mercury.



 

Home Press Releases NGOs Call for CFL Phase Out, Urge retailers to follow IKEA’s lead by ending sales
NGOs Call for CFL Phase Out, Urge retailers to follow IKEA’s lead by ending sales PDF Print
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 00:00

         

NGOs Call for CFL Phase Out, Urge retailers to follow IKEA’s lead by ending sales

Environmental NGOs are urging the European Commission (EC) to restrict sales of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), showing how they can be feasibly replaced with lighting emitting diode (LED) lamps. [1] They are also calling on retailers to follow IKEA’s lead by no longer selling CFLs. [2]

“LEDs have surpassed CFLs with respect to energy efficiency, lamp life and performance,” said Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Zero Mercury Project Manager for the European Environmental Bureau. “The time is ripe for an EC decision to take CFLs (<30W) off the shelves throughout the EU by 2018,” Lymberidi-Settimo added.

The EC accepted comments until mid-October on restricting electronic equipment that contains mercury (and other persistent toxic chemicals) from the market under the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS.) [3]

The NGO comments opposed the EU lighting industry’s request to the EC to continue approving mercury exemptions for most categories of fluorescent and high-intensity discharge lighting equipment, including CFLs. This could result in mercury-added lamps continuing to be sold for as long as the RoHS allows, NGOs say. [4]

Since the US Energy Department's lifecycle analysis shows the LEDs far surpass CFLs in efficiency and other environmental impacts, advocates are also calling for CFL sales to end by 2018 in the US. [5]

“LEDs are environmentally preferable to CFLs from a lifecycle perspective,” said Alicia Culver, executive director of the Responsible Purchasing Network.  “LEDs use less energy, last three times longer than CFLs.  They are a practical and affordable alternative for most general purpose lighting applications because their price has been dropping rapidly while their performance has been dramatically improving.”

Workers can be exposed to mercury when manufacturing, transporting, installing, recycling or disposing of CFLs and other fluorescent lamps.  Pregnant women and toddlers may be exposed above safe levels when CFLs are broken in rooms without ventilation. [6]

“LEDs don’t contain mercury and are becoming more cost competitive, especially when energy use reduction and higher fluorescent lamp disposal costs are factored in,” said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project.  “Plus, compared with CFLs, there are 4 times as many LEDs available on the ENERGY STAR list.”

The EC is expected to make a decision in 2016.

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[1]www.eeb.org, www.mercurypolicy.org, www.responsiblepurchasing.org

[2]http://www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/081015_IKEA_100_percent_LED

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/rohs_eee/legis_en.htm

[4]http://www.zeromercury.org/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&;view=file&id=198:environmental-ngos-response-to-stakeholder-consultation-2015-2-on-mercury-containing-lamps-exemption-1-4&Itemid=15   

[5]http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/2012_LED_Lifecycle_Report.pdf

[6]http://www.maine.gov/dep/homeowner/cflreport.html