Clearing the Air: 25 Years of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
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The UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution is one of the oldest multilateral international treaties to protect the environment, as well as being one of the most successful. This publication marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention and includes contributions from experts, delegates, chairmen and members of the secretariat to the Convention which explore its framework, past successes, current activities and future challenges.
Convention. Declaration in addition to the Convention As the work on the Convention shaped into a real document, there was an important prerequisite for the organization of a European summit devoted to environmental protection. The signing of the Convention would be the culmination o f such a meeting. However, for Western politicians, this would have meant that the USSR had succeeded in the realization o f its political initiative despite all the obstacles. Therefore, during disputes among the
increasing cooperation with institutions o f the European Community, including the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and the Joint Research Centre, has been a major sign o f this change. It i s fair to say that for example the European Commission’s Clean Air for Europe programme relies largely on the expertise developed within and provided by EMEP experts. EMEP itself puts more emphasis on the support o f policy pressures, primarily in the Convention, but i s aware o f t h e
Europe and North America, Heavy metals. though emissions o f lead, cadmium and mercury have decreased, these metals are expected t o continue t o accumulate in soils and reach concentrations sufficient to affect biota (aquatic biota in the case o f mercury) The cadmium content o f agricultural soils IS also o f concern because o f i t s possible effects on human health The medium-term work programme o f the Working Group on Effects foresees extending multiple effect assessments to address
environmental effects. The Protocol contributed t o the sharp decrease i n SO2 emissions during the 1990s (see figure 6.1). a Chapter 6 FIGURE6.1.THEPREVENTION SOUICE OF so2 EMISSIONS I N EUROPE 1960- ACTUAL LEVELS COMPAREDTO HYPOTHETlCAL LEVELS TAKING I N T O IlASA Further development o f integrated assessment models After the 1994Oslo Protocol integrated assessment models became more complex i n an attempt t o explore more cost-effective solutions for a combination o f pollutants and
scientific already made, the future itself remains our biggest uncertainty. Unfinished business Over the past 25 years many new scientific questions were raised and many new findings followed. This improved the state ofthe art in integrated assessment modelling, but it also led to new questions and elements o f uncertainty: Information on the contributions o f shipping and aviation t o air pollution has improved, but the I. willingness to take action within the framework o f the International