The EU reached an international agreement to update the Gothenburg Protocol according to a joint statement by the Danish EU Presidency and Commissioner Potočnik which welcomed this new agreement. There is also agreement to act on so called 'Black Carbon', a pollutant with short-lived climate forcing characteristics.
The Gothenburg Protocol will be updated setting more ambitious targets to reduce trans-boundary air pollution. In particular, the revised objectives of the Protocol will see a reduction in EU emissions of around 60% for sulphur, 40% for nitrogen oxides (NOx), 30% for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 6% for ammonia and 20% for particulate matter compared to 2005 levels. A paper recently published by the European Commission indicated that a limited number of air quality measures can substantially mitigate global warming.
As announced in a joint statement by the Danish EU Presidency and Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, the Gothemburg Protocol will be updated having for the first time, an international agreement that acknowledges the link between air pollution and climate change. In addition, there is an agreement to act on so called 'Black Carbon', a pollutant with short-lived climate forcing characteristics.
The agreement involves the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America, and the negotiations have also involved other countries covered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region. The Gothenburg Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone was adopted on 30 November 1999. It sets emission ceilings for four pollutants: sulphur, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ammonia. These ceilings were negotiated on the basis of scientific assessments of pollution effects and abatement options.
*Gothenburg Protocol: http://www.unece.org/env/lrtap/multi_h1.html
*Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security’ published by Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6065/183.abstract