The Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment met on 4 December 2012 in Doha, Qatar on the margins of the UNFCCCC Cop 18. The meeting was attended by over 40 members of the Network that included representatives from over 20 countries, UN agencies and international organisations and the civil society.
A presentation was made by the UNEP Secretariat with regard to the link between Climate Change, Mercury and Health. In particular, the presentation focussed on the increasing exposure of women and children to mercury from a number of sources. A key source of new mercury into the environment is the burning of coal in power stations. Thus reducing emissions from coal-fired power stations can thus deliver multiple, inclusive Green Economy benefits from cuts in CO2, air pollutants and mercury emissions. Another key source is exposure to the environment as well as local communities from artisanal small scale mining which has, in particular, impact on women and children.
The negotiations on a legally binding instrument on mercury began in 2009 and the final session is taking place in January 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. We wish to call upon you as member of the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders of the environment to encourage your government to support final negotiations on the legally binding instrument on mercury which will make a difference for woman, children and men in the cause of a sustainable future for humanity and for the protection of the environment,