The main developments in the field of transboundary air pollution occurred in relation to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) region. There were also signs, however, of attention being given to the matter in Asia, as China and Japan concluded an Environmental Cooperation Agreement (including the field of acidification). While work on a World Bank/Asian Development Bank project on "Acid Rain and Emission Reductions in Asia" continued, the effects of forest fires became a new subject in the field of transboundary pollution.
On 13 June, 26 countries of the ECE region signed a new (→) Protocol on the further reduction of Sulphur Emissions (doc. ECE/EB.AIR/40) in Oslo. Thirteen parties to the 1979 Convention did not sign, including Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, and the United States (which is not a party to the 1985 sulphur dioxide (SO2) Protocol either).
The most innovative aspect of the 1994 Protocol is the introduction of an approach using scientifically based critical loads. Annex 1 to the Protocol includes a map of critical loads based on an EMEP-grid (150 km x 150 km) covering the entire area over which the Convention applies. The application of this new approach has led to differentiated SO2-emissions reduction percentages for each of the respective Parties (Art. 2). The required reductions (ranging from 22 to 80 percent) must be achieved in the year 2000, 2005, or 2010 (Annex II). The target years 2005 and 2010 were specifically introduced to offer a number of Central and Eastern European countries the possibility of becoming parties to the Convention. For Canada a special regime applies.
The Protocol also contains a new provision on compliance (Art. 7): On the basis of a decision by the Ministers, the text on the "structure and functions of the implementation, as well as procedures for its review of compliance" attached to the decision will be adopted at the first session of the Executive Body after the entry into force of the Protocol (doc. ECE/EB.AIR/40, pp. 30-32). Dispute settlement is to be achieved "by negotiation or by any other method of dispute settlement acceptable to the parties to the dispute" (Art. 9(1)). Article 9(2) allows parties to accept in
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Yearbook of International Environmental Law. Volume: 5. Contributors: Günther Handl - Editor, Lothar Gundling - AssociateEditor, Linda A. Malone - AssociateEditor, Philippe Sands - AssociateEditor, Craig M. Scott - AssociateEditor. Publisher: Clarendon Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 157.