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Trouble in the air: Recent developments under the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution

Byrne, A; (2017) Trouble in the air: Recent developments under the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law , 26 (3) pp. 210-219. 10.1111/reel.12219. Green open access

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Abstract

The 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) is a significant regional treaty under which eight protocols have been developed. The Convention offers a case study on the legal and political challenges that can occur when addressing air pollution. This article explores the recent history of the CLRTAP regime, drawing on the conceptual lens of regime effectiveness. First, the article considers how the legal framework has been modernized over the past decade to reflect changes in the sources and effects of air pollution. This has predominantly occurred through amendments to the 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone, the 1998 Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the 1998 Protocol on Heavy Metals, which were negotiated in 2009–2012. The amendments are an important point in the regime's history, as they set more stringent pollution limits. Particular attention is paid to their prospective entry into force and their broader impact on European law. Second, the geographic coverage of the legal instruments has long been an issue of concern, with a number of former Soviet Union States choosing to not participate in the pollution-specific protocols. The article reviews efforts to boost participation through the creation in 2011 of a coordinating group to promote action in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Third, the article explores recent developments in compliance and inventory adjustments under the Gothenburg Protocol, as a demonstration of how the system approaches changes in scientific knowledge on the sources and levels of air pollution, and how this affects compliance.

Type: Article
Title: Trouble in the air: Recent developments under the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/reel.12219
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/reel.12219
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038773
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