France blocks ban on toxic waste export

Wednesday, August 14, 1996

France blocks ban on toxic waste export

On July 28, Greenpeace announced that France is blocking a regional agreement that would ban the export of toxic and nuclear waste from OECD states in the Mediterranean to non-European Union countries of the region.

Negotiations on the regional Hazardous Waste Protocol started in 1993. The protocol was supposed to be signed in Turkey in September.

France has signed the Basel Convention banning the export of hazardous waste from OECD to non-OECD countries, and it is a party to the Lome IV accord banning the export of radioactive waste from the EU to 66 developing countries. Despite this, if the text of the Hazardous Waste Protocol bans radioactive waste exports to the non-EU countries of the region, France will refuse to sign.

According to Greenpeace, "France agreed to ban nuclear waste exports to 66 developing countries in Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, but it refuses to apply the same policy in the Mediterranean. The developing countries of the Mediterranean are even less equipped than their northern counterparts to deal with nuclear waste. Dumping such waste on their peoples would be a crime."