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Updated Handbook for the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its Protocols

image of Updated Handbook for the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its Protocols
The UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, adopted in 1979, is the first international legally binding instrument to address problems of air pollution on a broad regional basis. Initially focused on problems of acidification and eutrophication, it now addresses a wider array of pollutants including ground-level ozone, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals and, most recently, particulate matter. This Handbook contains the most recent versions of the Convention's eight protocols as these have been amended and/or adjusted to maintain their relevance to the work of the Convention and to accommodate new Parties.

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Foreword

I clearly remember when I was a child in Denmark the debate on how acidifiction would destroy both our lakes and our forests. It worried me a lot. The response to this debate was the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Adopted 35 years ago, it is the oldest of the UNECE environmental conventions as well as the firstinternational legally binding instrument to address problems of air pollution on a broad regional basis. Since 1979 the Convention has been ratifiedby 51 Parties and has thus provided a framework for scientifi collaboration and policy negotiation across the UNECE region. Through the implementation of eight protocols, which set national emission targets and identify specificmeasures for cutting emissions across a wide range of sectors, some of the region’s major environmental problems have been successfully addressed. This includes the die-back of forests and the fishloss in lakes. Children in our region no longer have to worry as I did. Emissions of sulphur dioxide have been reduced by 70 per cent, emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds have been cut by 50 per cent and nitrogen oxide emissions stand at 40 per cent less than their 1990 levels.

English

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