Reducing Long-range Transport of Air Pollutants in Europe

In Steinar Andresen, Elin Lerum Boasson and Geir Hønneland (eds), International Environmental Agreements: An Introduction. London/New York, Routledge, 2012, pp. 23-37.

The multilateral partnership to emerge from the 1979 Air Convention has grown into an impressive structure with a number of offshoots and good results. Eight protocols have been successfully negotiated, each new step addressing new issues or representing tighter control on emission levels. The most ambitious of these protocols is the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol, which is also widest in scope. Most success in terms of emissions reductions has been recorded in the field of sulphur abatement; emissions have dropped by 65 per cent. This has led to a significant reduction in acidification-related damage in Europe. But the critical loads in the environment are still exceeded in vulnerable areas.