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All-Camp Lecture: Global Mercury Pollution: The Science and Policy behind the International Treaty to Reduce Mercury Use and Emissions

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
12:00 AM
Gates Lecture Hall, University of Michigan Biological Station, 9133 Biological Rd., Pellston, MI 49769

Hear a first-hand account of international science policy negotiations from an environmental toxicologist with the National Resources Defense Council.

Mercury is a well-known neurotoxic metal that poses well-known harm to human health and the environment. Its use and release is concentrated in China and the developing world, but as a global pollutant it travels far from its sources of emissions to contaminate ecosystems and food chains around the world. A little over a decade ago, the United Nations Environment Program embarked upon negotiations to create a globally coordinated scheme to reduce this pollutant around the world. 

This lecture will summarize the treaty requirements and highlight the scientific debates and policy conundrums that negotiators faced when working towards its successful passage in January 2013. Speaker Linda Greer was directly involved in the negotiations and will highlight the productive role that scientists can play in policy debates such as these during her talk.

Dr. Linda Greer currently directs the Health Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), focusing on toxic chemical pollutants in air, water, food, and shelter. She leads that organization’s work on industrial pollution in China. Greer attended the University of Michigan Biological Station for five summers, as an undergraduate student, graduate student, researcher, member of Project Clear, and teaching assistant. She received a doctorate in Environmental Toxicology from the University of Maryland.