The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (UNECE LRTAP Convention) was ratified (approved) by the European Community in 1982. Article 2 of the convention states that 'the Contracting Parties, taking due account of the facts and problems involved, are determined to protect man and his environment against air pollution and shall endeavour to limit and, as far as possible, gradually reduce and prevent air pollution including long–range transboundary air pollution.'
The Convention set up a process for negotiating concrete measures to control specific pollutants through legally binding protocols. Since 1984, eight protocols have entered into force. The 1999 Protocol to abate acidification, eutrophication and ground–level ozone entered into force on 17 May 2005. Table 1 below presents the status of ratification of each protocol by the European Community. The status differs in the individual Member States.
Under the Convention, the reporting of air emission data is important for assessing the state of air pollution in the UNECE region and for ascertaining the compliance of the parties with their commitments. This report follows the data request as outlined in the letter of the UNECE Environment and Human Settlements Division (the secretariat for the executive body of the Convention) from 14 December 2005, asking the European Community to report its 2004 emission data on SOX (as SO2), NOX (as NO2), NH3, NMVOCs, CO, heavy metals (HMs), persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and particulate matter (PM). The report provides an overview of emission trends and data availability for EU-25; NFR Tables IV 1A are provided for EU-15 only. This report was prepared by the European Environment Agency and its European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change (EEA/ETC–ACC) on behalf of the European Commission.
Throughout this report, the European Community refers to the 25 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. EU‑15 refers to the 15 Member States up until 1 May 2004: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
1.2 A Description of the Institutional Arrangements for Inventory Preparation
There is no directive to monitor the air emissions and the preparation of the air emission inventories for the LRTAP Convention. The legal reporting obligation for the Member States and the European Community remains the 1979 LRTAP Convention. Within the European Community, Member States are requested to post a copy of their official submission to LRTAP Convention in the central data repository of the European environmental information system (Eionet (1)) by 15 February of each year. EEA-ETC/ACC collects the data from the central data repository and compiles the European Community LRTAP Convention Inventory database, producing a European Community CLRTAP Inventory and Inventory report.
Additionally, a European Community directive, the NEC Directive 2001/81/EC on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants (2), requests the European Community Member States to report by 31 December each year to the European Commission and to the EEA their national emission inventories for SO2, NOX, NMVOCs and NH3, and their emission projections for 2010. They have to report their final emission inventories for the year before last and their provisional emission inventories for the previous year.
The Member States also report their NOX, CO, NMVOC, SO2 emissions under the greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (3). Table 2 provides an overview of air pollution reporting obligations for the European Community Member States.
Within this legal framework, preparing the LRTAP Convention Inventory involves Member States providing their data, the European Commission receiving the data, and the EEA and its ETCACC collecting the data and preparing the actual Inventory.