Presentation on theme: "The UNEP Global Mercury Programme and Fate and Transport Research"— 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 PollutionJune 1-3, 2005Keith PuckettEnvironment Canada
2 Purposes of This Presentation Present some background on the UNEP Global Mercury ProgrammeIdentify some suggested responses to the UNEP Decisions on global mercury (related to fate and transport)How interested governments / organizations can get involvedCommend 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).This explains our understanding of how mercury cycles in the environment.
4 Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Region in 1990 and 2000 Africa9%Asia38%Australia3%Europe33%North America14%South AmericaAfrica18%Asia52%Australia6%Europe11%North America9%South America4%Change Over TimeKey point here is the change over time in emissions from developed and developing countries– developed country emissions have decreased dramatically-- developing country emissions are increasingAnthropogenic emissions from Asia (mainly China and India) are growing significantly while emissions from Europe and North America decrease.Estimates of emissions are very rough – largely engineering estimates and rudimentary emissions factors.Total: 1,881 metric tons/yrTotal: 2,269 metric tons/yrAsia 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, 2004
5 Anthropogenic Air Emissions of Mercury: Distribution by Industrial Sector in 1995 Non-ferrousmetal production170 (7%)Coal and fuel combustion is by far the largest source categoryEstimates are rough; most countries do not have Hg inventoriesWe need to further develop reliable emissions inventoriesPig iron andsteel production30 (1%)Cementproduction130 (5%)Wastedisposal110 (5%)Coal/Fuelcombustion1470 (62%)Artisanalgold mining300 (13%)This slide illustrates the range of sources associated with international mercury emissions.Regionally and locally, specific sources can contribute to heavy deposition even if they constitute a small part of the global pie.Again, very significant data uncertainties, according to Pacyna, inventory author:stationery fossil fuel combustion, +/-25%non-ferrous metal production, +/-30%iron and steel production, +/-30%cement production, +/-30%waste disposal, up to a factor of 5.Chlor-alkali172 (7%)Total: 2,382 metric tonsSource: EPA estimates derived from UNEP Global Mercury Assessment, UNEP, Geneva, December 2002
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 problemThe 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 informationThe 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…”Since 2003 the mercury programme has focused on awareness raising and capacity building, mainly via a series of regional workshops around the worldGuidance materials, for example a toolkit on inventorying mercury emissions and releases, are also being developedThe quote on this slide is from section of the assessment report. Section also provides a list of some suggested areas of research.
7 Strengthening the Program: Results of 2005 UNEP Governing Council Meeting 136 countries/1000 participantsAffirmed 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 environmentTwo 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 releasesDevelopment 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, 2005UNEP to assist in information dissemination, report on progress, etc.
9 PartnershipsThe Decision provides some guidance to partnerships. Partnerships are to identify at least:GoalsProcess and timeline for partnership development and implementationRoles and responsibilities of partnersMechanism for monitoring and evaluation to assess and report on progress of partnerships
10 Partnerships : Current Status has a page titled “Establishment of Partnerships” to document progress of partnershipsSo far the U.S. has submitted information on three partnerships to this website:Artisanal and small scale gold miningProductsChloralkali plantsUS has also indicated its intention to propose partnerships on:Coal combustionGlobal Fate and Transport ResearchUS-EPA suggested activities under a proposed fate and transport partnership are:1. Work with UNEP to create an electronic library (i.e., a clearinghouse) and Secretariat with steering group, and2. Work with potential partners to create 1-2 pilot global fate and transport partnership research activities to serve as modelsFor example, China/Pacific and Arctic regions
11 Fate and Transport Partnership : What could it do? Accelerate the development of global cycling informationAccelerate the dissemination of information between/among scientists and policymakers
12 How to get involved UNEP website www.chem.unep.ch/mercury/ 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 SummaryThe 2005 UNEP Governing Council decision proposes continued activities related to mercury fate and transport researchSome suggestions have been put forward on how to address this aspect of the decisionGovernments and organizations represented at the Task Force meeting are encouraged to get involved in the UNEP mercury programThe 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 pilotingEnvironment Canada August nd workshop on mercury research in polar regionsEtc….In 2002, a meeting was held by the AQRB in Toronto where 40 scientists from 8 different countries gathered to discuss the state of research on mercury in the polar atmosphere. This group focused on research pertaining to mercury depletion events recently discovered in both the Arctic and Antarctic. From this workshop a strategy that identified gaps of knowledge and needs for future research for atmospheric mercury in polar regions was put forward and published (see attached table). This summer will be 3 years since that meeting and it is felt that the community should gather again to discuss what progress has been made since identifying these gaps and what still needs to be accomplished. In addition, the International Polar Year (IPY) is fast approaching and scientists studying mercury in polar regions from various fields of study may wish to discuss and develop a targeted strategy for polar research regarding mercury.Goals for this workshopTo share knowledge and develop collaborative opportuntiesTo establish what goals and gaps identified from the previous meeting have been addressed and/or metEstablish what issues still need to be addressed and possible time framesIdentify new issues that need to be addressedAscertain how to approach and integrate research goals and findings from various disciplinesDevelop an interdisciplinary strategy for mercury research which includes plans for IPY