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The Minamata Convention on mercury intered into force in August 2017

The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP2) took place from 19 to 23 November 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Convention, whose Secretariat is based in Geneva, aims at “protecting the human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compound”.

For HWE, the Convention shall ensure:

 The phase out of the use of mercury with a pragmatic but safe framework for the few remaining allowed uses,

 The ultimate goal is the stabilization of mercury considered as a waste through high tech process that will ensure a safe permanent storage,

 The full traceability of mercury waste from the producer to the final destination,

 Clear definitions of what is a “waste consisting of mercury or mercury compounds”, a “waste containing mercury or mercury compounds” or a “waste contaminated by mercury or mercury compounds”, with consistent thresholds when necessary

 The very strict monitoring of mercury emissions to air from the relevant sources (coal power plants, non-ferrous metal production, cement kilns and incineration) through continuous measurement; similar requirements should also apply for water emissions

COP 3 was agreed to take place in Geneva from 25th to 29th November 2019.