Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, often abbreviated as Air Pollution or CLRTAP, is intended to protect the human environment against air pollution and to gradually reduce and prevent air pollution, including long-range transboundary air pollution. It is implemented by the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP), directed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The convention opened for signature on 1979-11-13 and entered into force on 1983-03-16.
The Convention, which now has 51 Parties, identifies the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as its secretariat. The current parties to the Convention are shown on the map.
The Convention is implemented by the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) (short for Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe). Results of the EMEP programme are published on the EMEP website, www.emep.int.
Since 1979 the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution has addressed some of the major environmental problems of the UNECE region through scientific collaboration and policy negotiation. The Convention has been extended by eight protocols that identify specific measures to be taken by Parties to cut their emissions of air pollutants:
The aim of the Convention is that Parties shall endeavour to limit and, as far as possible, gradually reduce and prevent air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution. Parties develop policies and strategies to combat the discharge of air pollutants through exchanges of information, consultation, research and monitoring.
The Parties meet annually at sessions of the Executive Body to review ongoing work and plan future activities including a workplan for the coming year. The three main subsidiary bodies - the Working Group on Effects, the Steering Body to EMEP and the Working Group on Strategies and Review - as well as the Convention's Implementation Committee, report to the Executive Body each year.
Currently, the Convention's priority activities include review and possible revision of its most recent protocols, implementation of the Convention and its protocols across the entire UNECE region (with special focus on Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and South-East Europe) and sharing its knowledge and information with other regions of the world.
The following substances are contained in the CLRTAP POPs Protocol.
- Aarhus Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants
- Critical load
- Environmental agreements
- Gothenburg (Multi-effect) Protocol
- 1985 Helsinki Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphur Emissions
- 1994 Oslo Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions
- Volatile Organic Compounds Protocol
- EMEP History and Structure, EMEP website
- UNECE: Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution 2010, p. 12–13.