Legislative instrument details: CLRTAP

Legal name Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
Short name CLRTAP
CELEX reference
Identification number UN 1979
Issued by UNECE Environment and Human Settlements Division
URL to issuer http://www.unece.org/env/
Parent legislative instrument
Related instrument(s) VOC Solvent Emissions Directive
Valid from 16/03/1983
Abstract The CLRTAP establishes a broad framework for co-operative action on air pollution. The Parties undertake, by means of exchanges of information, consultation, research and monitoring, to develop policies and strategies to combat the discharge of air pollutants. Parties should also adopt air quality management systems and control measures, compatible with balanced development and using the best available technology which is economically feasible. In addition, Parties agree to participate in co-ordinating measures under the Co-operative programme for the long-range transmission of air pollutants in Europe (EMEP). Activities under the Convention initially focused on reducing the effects of acid rain through the control of sulphur emissions. Later, the scope was widened to address the formation of ground level ozone (smog) and, more recently, persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The Convention has been added to by eight protocols: 1) Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone; 2) Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); 3) Protocol on Heavy Metals; 4) Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions; 5) Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes; 6) Protocol concerning the Control of Nitrogen Oxides or their Transboundary Fluxes; 7) Protocol on the Reduction of Sulphu Emissions or their Transboundary Fluxes by at least 30 per cent; and 8) Protocol on Long-term Financing of the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP).
Reporting framework
Reporting obligations
Geographic scope Europe; Russian Federation; United States;
Comments Relevant EC legislation: Council Decision 81/462/EEC of 11 June 1981 on the conclusion of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution.
In 1985, the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests, http://www.icp-forests.org) was launched under the LRTAP Convention due to the growing public awareness of possible adverse effects of air pollution on forests. ICP Forests monitors the forest condition in Europe in co-operation with the European Union. The mandate of the ICP Forests is: 1) to monitor effects of anthropogenic factors (in particular air pollution) and natural stress factors on the condition and development of forest ecosystems in Europe; and 2) to contribute to a better understanding of cause-effect relationships in forest ecosystem functioning in various parts of Europe. Based on its mandate, ICP Forests has the following objectives: 1) to provide a periodic overview on the spatial and temporal variation in forest condition in relation to anthropogenic (in particular air pollution) as well as natural stress factors on an European and national large-scale systematic network (Level I); 2) to contribute to a better understanding of the relationships between the condition of forest ecosystems and anthropogenic (in particular air pollution) as well as natural stress factors through intensive monitoring on a number of selected permanent observation plots spread over Europe (Level II) and to study the development of important forest ecosystems in Europe; 3) to provide a deeper insight into the interactions between the various components of forest ecosystems by compiling available information from related studies 4) to contribute in close co-operation with the ICP on Modelling and Mapping to the calculation of critical levels/loads and their excedances in forests and to improve collaboration with other environmental monitoring programmes inside and outside the CLRTAP; 5) to contribute by means of the monitoring activities to other aspects of relevance for forest policy at national, pan-European and global level, such as effects of climate changes on forests, sustainable forest management and biodiversity in forests; and 6) to provide policy-makers and the general public with relevant information.
EC entry into force 15/07/1982
EC accession 16/03/1983
Convention secretariat United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Environment and Human Settlements Division (in Geneva, Switzerland)