A pan-European protocol requiring governments to cut lead, cadmium and mercury emissions will enter force on 29 December after Germany on 30 September became the 16th state to ratify the instrument. The target was reached just too late for a first meeting of parties to be held this year in tandem with a second protocol on persistent organic pollutants. The meeting will instead happen in December 2004 (EED 30/09/03). See German environment ministry press release and UN/ECE heavy metals protocol.
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