Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on a Community Strategy to Combat Acidification

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Courtesy of European Commission, Environment DG

On 12th March 1997, the European Commission adopted a proposal from the Environment Commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard on a European Union strategy to combat acidification. The strategy will, by 2010, reduce significantly the extent of the areas in the European Union where the tolerance of sensitive ecosystems to acidity is exceeded.
Main elements of the strategy include establishment of national emission ceilings for each acid rain pollutant; ratification of the UN protocol on further reductions of sulphur emissions; proposal for a directive limiting the sulphur content of heavy fuel oils; review of the large combustion plant directive (Dir. 88/609/EEC); designation of the Baltic Sea and the North sea as so called sulphur dioxide control areas; promotion of cost-effective measures to reduce emissions in Central and Eastern European countries.

Current predictions indicate that the extent of affected areas in 2010 would, in the absence of the strategy, be 8.7 million hectares. With the strategy this figure will be reduced to 4.5 million hectares.

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