Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution


Co-operative programme for monitoring
and evaluation of the long-range
transmission of air pollutants in Europe

EMEP History and Structure

The Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), signed in 1979, is one of the central means for protection of our environment. It establishes a broad framework for co-operative action on reducing the impact of air pollution and sets up a process for negotiating concrete measures to control emissions of air pollutants through legally binding protocols. In this process, the main objective of the EMEP programme (Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe) is to regularly provide governments and subsidiary bodies under the LRTAP Convention with qualified scientific information to support the development and further evaluation of the international protocols on emission reductions negotiated within the Convention.

Initially, the EMEP programme focused on assessing the transboundary transport of acidification and eutrophication. Later, the scope of the programme has widened to address the formation of ground level ozone and, more recently, of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals and particulate matter.

The EMEP programme relies on three main elements: (1) collection of emission data, (2) measurements of air and precipitation quality and (3) modelling of atmospheric transport and deposition of air pollutions. Through the combination of these three elements, EMEP fulfils its required assessment and regularly reports on emissions, concentrations and depositions of air pollutants, the quantity and significance of transboundary fluxes and related exceedances to critical loads and threshold levels. The combination of these components provides also a good basis for the evaluation and qualification of the EMEP estimates.

The EMEP programme is carried out in collaboration with a broad network of scientists and national experts that contribute to the systematic collection, analysis and reporting of emission data, measurement data and integrated assessment results. Four different Task Forces within EMEP provide a fora for discussion and scientific exchange. These are the following: the Task Force on Meaurements and Modelling (TFMM), the Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections (TFEIP) , the Task Force on Integrated Assessment Modellling (TFIAM) and Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants (TFHTAP).

The co-ordination and intercalibration of chemical air quality and precipitation measurements are carried out at the Chemical Coordinating Centre (CCC) . The Meteorological Synthesizing Centre -West (MSC-W) is responsible for the modelling assessment of sulphur, nitrogen photooxidant pollutants and atmospheric particles. The modelling development for heavy metals and POPs is the responsibility of the Meteorological Synthesizing Centre -East (MSC-E). In 1999 the Executive Body of the Convention decided to include integrated assessment into the core activities of EMEP and to establish a Center for Integrated Assessment Modelling (CIAM) building on past modelling work, in particular the RAINS model. The EMEP Centre on Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP) has the task to collect emissions and projections of acidifying air pollutants, heavy metals, particulate matter and photochemical oxidants.

EMEP Organization:

Organisational Chart: Click for mandate and contact person

Hilde Fagerli, MSC-W, Mail: hilde.fagerli @
Sergey Dutchak, MSC-E, Mail: sergey.dutchak @
Kjetil Tørseth, CCC, Mail: kjetil.torseth @
Markus Amman, CIAM, Mail: amann @
Sabine Schindlbacher, CEIP, Mail: sabine.schindlbacher @
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