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Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution

In the 1960s, scientists confirmed the link between sulphur and the acidification of Scandinavian Lakes and forests. In 1979 a meeting was called within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for the Protection of the Environment, to address this and related issues. This led to the signature of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution by 34 governments, including Canada, and the European Community in Geneva in 1979. The Convention came into force in 1983 and has been followed by 8 protocols.

The aim of the Convention is that parties shall endeavour to limit and, as far as possible, gradually reduce and prevent air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution. Parties develop policies and strategies to combat the discharge of air pollutants through exchanges of information, consultation, research and monitoring (UNECE, 2007).

This international convention has been implemented in Canada through the following laws and policies:

Canada's Clean Air and Climate Change Act (2007) BILL C-30

International Joint Commission

Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999)

At the provincial level, Alberta is addressing the Geneva Convention through its Climate Change and Emissions Management Act.




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