Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
This Convention establishes a framework for intergovernmental cooperation with the aim of protecting health and the environment from air pollution that is liable to affect several countries. This cooperation covers the development of appropriate policies, the exchange of information, research and the implementation and development of a monitoring system.
Council Decision 81/462/EEC of 11 June 1981 on the conclusion of the Convention on long-range transboundary air pollution.
In this Convention, the Contracting Parties (i.e. the States or the European Union which are signatories to the Convention) commit themselves to limiting, and to gradually preventing and reducing their discharges of air pollutants and thus to combating the resulting transboundary pollution.
Long-range transboundary air pollution is defined as the introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the air which have deleterious effects on human health, the environment or material property in another country, and for which the contribution of individual emission sources or groups of sources cannot be distinguished.
The Convention provides that Contracting Parties will develop and implement appropriate policies and strategies, particularly systems of air quality management. It also provides for the possibility for consultation to take place quickly in the case of pollution or a serious risk of pollution by one Party.
The Contracting Parties agree to meet regularly (at least annually) to assess progress made and liaise on matters relating to the Convention.
The Parties will initiate concerted research and development efforts, particularly to reduce emissions of major air pollutants, for monitoring and measuring emission rates and concentrations of these pollutants, as well as to gain an understanding of the effects of these pollutants on health and the environment.
Exchange of Information
The Contracting Parties to the Convention will exchange information, in particular on data regarding the emission of major air pollutants (starting with sulphur dioxide) and their effects, aspects likely to cause significant changes in long-range transboundary air pollution (particularly in national policies and industrial development), control technologies for reducing air pollution and national policies and strategies to combat the major air pollutants.
Cooperation in the field of training
The Contracting Parties will participate in "the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe" (EMEP). This programme, which is governed by a separate protocol, aims to provide parties to the Convention with scientific information regarding monitoring of the atmosphere, the provision of IT models, the assessment of emissions and the development of projections.
In order for this cooperation to succeed, the Parties, among other things, provide for:
- the application of this programme, initially focused on monitoring sulphur dioxide and related substances, to other major air pollutants;
- monitoring the composition of media susceptible to contamination by these pollutants (water, soil and vegetation) as well as the effects on health and the environment;
- the provision of meteorological and physico-chemical data relating to processes during transmission;
- the use, whenever possible, of comparable or standardised monitoring and modelling methods;
- the integration of EMEP into relevant national and international programmes;
- the regular exchange of data obtained by monitoring.
The Convention was signed in 1979 at Geneva, within the framework of the Economic Commission of the United Nations for Europe, and entered into force in 1983.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 171 of 27.6.1981
- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Geneva Convention