The protocol enters into force just as the LRTAP convention celebrates its 40-year anniversary. Photo: © Shutterstock – Sandra van der Steen

Amended Gothenburg Protocol now in force

The amended Gothenburg Protocol under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) came into force on 7 October, after the eighteenth ratification, by Luxembourg in July. All in all, there are now nineteen parties to the protocol: Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, European Union, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

The original protocol dates back to 1999. After an update and revision, an amended protocol was signed in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2012, and it sets binding country-by-country emission reduction commitments for five air pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter – to be achieved by 2020.

The entry-into-force opens the way for a review and possible revision of the protocol – an issue that will be debated at the next meeting of the Convention’s Executive Body on 9–13 December in Geneva. On 11–12 December, the meeting will also hold a special session to celebrate the Convention’s 40-year anniversary.

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