Published January 13, 2013
GENEVA – Delegates from than 130 nations have begun negotiating to create the world's first legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions.
Swiss diplomat Franz Perrez told reporters Sunday in Geneva "we are confident that we'll be able to conclude here this week" with a final document that nations will adopt later this year.
Fernando Lugris of Uruguay, who chairs the negotiations, said the six-day conference already has agreed on a draft text that it will use this week for negotiations.
The U.N. environment program reported last week that mercury pollution in the top layer of the world's oceans has doubled in the past century, part of a man-made problem that will require international cooperation to fix.
Mercury, a toxic metal, is widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining, particularly gold.