16 September 2013

Climate policies would help cut mercury pollution

Policies aimed at mitigating climate change would also make a substantial dent in mercury pollution by the year 2050, shows a new study from IIASA’s Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases Program.



The study, published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, uses IIASA’s GAINS model to examine scenarios for future emissions under different policies for climate mitigation and air pollution. It shows that policies that address air pollution alone would not be sufficient to cut mercury pollution, but that addressing climate change and air pollution simultaneously would bring greater reductions than addressing either problem alone. Mercury is a long-lasting trans-boundary pollutant that moves from the atmosphere into water and food chains, damaging human health. The first global treaty on mercury is scheduled for adoption in October 2013.

Reference: Rafaj, P., I. Bertok, J. Cofala, and W. Schoepp.2013. Scenarios of global mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources. Atmospheric Environment Volume 79, November 2013, Pages 472–479

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Last edited: 16 September 2013


Peter Rafaj

Research Scholar

Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases

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