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The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research Presentation to the First Meeting of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution.

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Presentation on theme: "The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research Presentation to the First Meeting of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution."— Presentation transcript:

1 The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research Presentation to the First Meeting of the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution June 1-3, 2005 Keith Puckett Environment Canada

2 Purposes of This Presentation Present some background on the UNEP Global Mercury Programme Identify some suggested responses to the UNEP Decisions on global mercury (related to fate and transport) How interested governments / organizations can get involved Commend this item for consideration during the Task Force’s workplanning discussion

3 Conceptual Model of How Mercury Cycles in the Environment 3 emission source types: anthropogenic; natural and re- emitted. 3 forms (species) of emissions, reactive: Hg(II), and particulate: Hg(p) and elemental: Hg(0). Hg(II) and Hg(p) have short atmospheric lifetimes and deposit locally and regionally. Hg(0) has a long atmospheric lifetime; can be transported globally; and becomes part of a global background; >90% in air is Hg(0).

4 Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Region in 1990 and 2000 Total: 1,881 metric tons/yrTotal: 2,269 metric tons/yr Asia and Africa account for about 70% of global emissions and show steady, significant increases due to industrialization. Based on Pacyna, J., Munthe J., Presentation at Workshop on Mercury: Brussels, March 29-30, Africa 9% Asia 38% Australia 3% Europe 33% North America 14% South America 3% Africa 18% Asia 52% Australia 6% Europe 11% North America 9% South America 4%

5 Source: EPA estimates derived from UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, UNEP, Geneva, December 2002 Coal and fuel combustion is by far the largest source category Estimates are rough; most countries do not have Hg inventories We need to further develop reliable emissions inventories Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Industrial Sector in 1995 Total: 2,382 metric tons Coal/Fuel combustion 1470 (62%) Non-ferrous metal production 170 (7%) Pig iron and steel production 30 (1%) Cement production 130 (5%) Waste disposal 110 (5%) Artisanal gold mining 300 (13%) Chlor-alkali 172 (7%)

6 UNEP Global Mercury Program The UNEP Global Mercury Program was established in February 2003 by the UNEP Governing Council after accepting the findings of the global mercury assessment and concluding that mercury is a global problem The scientific basis for this decision was the 2002 UNEP Global Mercury Assessment to which 55 countries as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations contributed information The assessment identified several examples of data gaps, including that “further studies would be useful in order to improve the understanding of transport, transformation and fate of mercury in the atmosphere and in aquatic and terrestrial media…”

7 Strengthening the Program: Results of 2005 UNEP Governing Council Meeting –136 countries/1000 participants –Affirmed conclusions of 2003 meeting and called for continued actions with the objective of identifying exposed populations and ecosystems and reducing anthropogenic mercury releases which affect human health and the environment –Two aspects of the 2005 mercury decision are of particular relevance : Request to improve global understanding of international mercury emission sources, fate and transport; and promote development of inventories of mercury uses and releases Development of partnerships

8 Partnerships –The 2005 mercury decision: Urges partnerships to be developed and implemented by Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in a clear, transparent and accountable manner. Governments to identify set of pilot partnerships by September 1, 2005 UNEP to assist in information dissemination, report on progress, etc.

9 Partnerships The Decision provides some guidance to partnerships. Partnerships are to identify at least: –Goals –Process and timeline for partnership development and implementation –Roles and responsibilities of partners –Mechanism for monitoring and evaluation to assess and report on progress of partnerships

10 Partnerships : Current Status –www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/ has a page titled “Establishment of Partnerships” to document progress of partnershipswww.chem.unep.ch/mercury/ –So far the U.S. has submitted information on three partnerships to this website: Artisanal and small scale gold mining Products Chloralkali plants –US has also indicated its intention to propose partnerships on: Coal combustion Global Fate and Transport Research

11 Fate and Transport Partnership : What could it do? Accelerate the development of global cycling information Accelerate the dissemination of information between/among scientists and policymakers

12 How to get involved UNEP website US-EPA fate and transport partnership contacts: Stanley Durkee, USEPA Office of Research and Development, Marilyn Engle, USEPA Office of International Affairs, Environment Canada August 2005 interdisciplinary workshop for research on mercury in polar regions

13 Summary The 2005 UNEP Governing Council decision proposes continued activities related to mercury fate and transport research Some suggestions have been put forward on how to address this aspect of the decision Governments and organizations represented at the Task Force meeting are encouraged to get involved in the UNEP mercury program The Task Force itself could consider sharing relevant work with the mercury program

14 Other Related Activities UNEP Draft Toolkit for the Identification and Quantification of Mercury Releases to be circulated to UNEP mercury working group for review and possible piloting Environment Canada August nd workshop on mercury research in polar regions Etc….


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