The ICSC and the UN Environment Coal Partnership

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The Minamata Convention is an international treaty designed to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds. The Convention entered into force in August 2017.

The 2nd Conference of the Parties (COP2) of the Minamata Convention on Mercury took place in Geneva, 19-23 November 2019.

Dr Lesley Sloss of the ICSC co-leads the Coal Partnership (CP) under the Minamata Convention with MacQuarie University in Australia. The CP provides guidance to the delegations on the implementation of the Minamata Convention.The annual meetings of the UNEnv Coal Partnership take place in conjunction with the ICSC Mercury and multi-pollutant emissions from coal (MEC) workshops. The remit of the CP is to act, on behalf of UN Env and ratified parties, to ensure that the coal sector is dealt with appropriately within the Convention and that compliance strategies are carried out in an effective manner. To this end, the CP has worked since the beginning of the negotiations to help produce supporting documents for the Convention, including sitting on the expert group which produced the BAT/BEP (best available technology/best environmental practice) guidance for reducing emissions from the coal sector. The Coal Partnership continues to attend all negotiations and related Minamata meetings to provide continued expert guidance to the parties to the Convention.

The Coal Partnership has previously managed large inventory and demonstration projects in China, India, Russia, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and has produced a simple calculation model to predict mercury emissions and capture based on raw plant data. All the reports from this work are available on the Coal Partnership website. The Partnership is currently working on several possible new project ventures and will report on these in due course.