Selin Publishes “One Earth” Article on Global Mercury Governance

Henrik SelinAssociate Professor of International Relations and Associate Dean for Studies at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, has published a new One Earth article on global mercury governance in the context of sustainability. 

Selin co-authored the article, titled “From Stockholm to Minamata and beyond: Governing mercury pollution for a more sustainable future,” with Noelle Selin, Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT. In it, the authors examine connections between major aspects of the mercury issue and the global sustainable development agenda.

Selin and Selin find that while global 50-year trends in mercury production, consumption, and discharges are mixed, mercury governance has expanded. However, the two largest contemporary sources of anthropogenic discharges – coal-fired power plants and artisanal and small-scale gold mining – are increasingly connected to sustainability challenges including energy production, air and water pollution abatement, climate change mitigation, and poverty eradication. The two argue that a global-scale indicator of mercury discharges can provide policy-relevant information,; however, it cannot capture local variations. Therefore, long-term interventions addressing mercury use and pollution need to be part of broader sustainability transitions.

The full article can be read on One Earth‘s website.

Henrik Selin has been at Boston University since 2004. His research and teaching focus on global and regional politics and policymaking on the environment and sustainable development. He is the author of Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile ElementEuropean Union Environmental Governance, and Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of Multilevel ManagementHe is also the author and co-author of more than four dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He also serves as Editor for the journal Global Environmental Politics. Learn more about Professor Selin on his faculty profile.