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This report summarizes the current scientific knowledge on transboundary air pollution issues within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe region and describes the effectiveness of air pollution measures in addressing large-scale effects on forests and lakes, as well as in protecting human health and preventing other air pollution effects, such as loss in biodiversity and damage to crops, the built environment and cultural heritage.
The assessment of emission reduction achievements is based on a study on trends in air pollution and impacts coordinated by the Working Group on Effects, a study on air pollution trends between 1990 and 2012 by the EMEP Task Force on Measurements and Modelling, and an assessment for North America by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The opportunities to tackle the remaining challenges identified in the document are mainly based on work by the EMEP Task Force on Hemispheric Transport on Air Pollution, the Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-West, the Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-East and the Centre on Integrated Assessment Modelling.
The aim of this assessment is to serve as a basis for considering new directions for policy development and identifying policy-relevant research questions. The international cooperative approach, which includes interaction between science and policy, as developed under the Convention, provides a good basis for exploring synergies between air pollution and climate change, agriculture and biodiversity, and energy and public health policies on the urban, national, continental and hemispheric scales.