Archive for April, 2011

The Global POPs Treaty at Ten

April 22, 2011 1 comment

By the CIEL Chemicals Team

Over the past ten years, CIEL has helped to shape the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).  From April 25-29, 2011, our Chemicals Team is in Geneva for the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP5).  The Stockholm Convention, a global accord ratified by over 170 countries, places international limits on chemicals like DDT, dioxins, brominated flame retardants, and other chemicals that are toxic, accumulate in living organisms, last for years and can travel long distances through wind, water and other media.

The Parties to the Stockholm Convention are gearing up for a week of intense negotiations.  Here’s a brief line-up of key issues that CIEL will be following—

Categories: Chemicals Tags: ,

Known Unknowns

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

By Baskut Tuncak

Baskut Tuncak, Staff Attorney

In reflecting on his revolutionary achievements, Sir Isaac Newton explained, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  Implicit in this statement is the recognition of information as an essential part of the foundation for technological innovation.

In the 21st century, information has captured the attention of a broad spectrum of actors, namely:  authors (James Gleick), on its historical role; internet powerhouses (Google), as a matter of foreign policy; and even the U.S. Supreme Court (FCC v. AT&T Inc.), with respect to a corporation’s right to privacy.

While the importance of information isn’t exactly a new idea, in the world of chemical policy, the confidentiality of certain types of information can directly affect public health and hinder the innovation of safer alternatives.  Read more…

Categories: Chemicals Tags: , , ,