Socio-economic costs of continuing the status-quo of mercury pollution


Mercury is considered a global pollutant and it has been concluded that a significant portion of humans and wildlife throughout the world are ex-posed to methyl mercury at levels of concern. In 2007 the Governing Council of UNEP established an ad-hoc Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) to review and assess options for enhanced voluntary measures and international legal instruments for mercury. The results from the OEWG will be reported to the Governing Council in February 2009 with a view to decide on how to implement international long-term measures against mercury pollution. Most of the measures needed to reduce emissions will lead to costs to society. However, mercury pollution also results in socio-economic costs. The aim of this report is to present an estimate of the socio-economic costs of continued mercury contamination of the environment as an input to the global considerations on what international long-term action should be taken. A final draft of the report was presented and discussed at a seminar in connection to the second OEWG-meeting in October 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya. The final draft report was also submitted as an information document to the OEWG-meeting. The study was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Norwe-gian Ministry of Environment and the Swedish Chemicals Agency. The development of the report was supervised by Petra Ekblom, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (lead), Henrik Eriksen and Anne Kathrine Arnesen, the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. Valuable input during the development of the report was received from Lars Drake (the Swedish Chemicals Agency), Petra Hagström (the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency), Frank Jensen (the Danish Environmental Protection Agency) and Magnus Nyström (Finnish Environment Institute). An early draft was also reviewed by Patrik Söder-holm, professor in economics at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. The study was performed by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Norway, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden and NILU Polska, Poland.

Medarbetare: Stefan Åström, John Munthe

Nyckelord: Socio-economic costs, mercury, pollution

Typ: Artikel

År: 2009

Rapportnummer: A1614

Författare: Jozef M Pacyna, Kyrre Sundseth, Elisabeth G Pacyna, John Munthe, Mohammed Belhaj, Stefan Åström, Damian Panasiuk, Anna Glodek

Publicerad i: "+ Nordic Council of Ministers, Copenhagen 2008, TemaNord 2008:580; ISBN 978-92-893-1746-7"