UNECE Air Pollution Convention Working Group Focuses on Black Carbon

15 April 2011: The 48th session of the Working Group on Strategies and Review under the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution convened in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-15 April 2011, and focused on strategies to reduce black carbon emissions, one of the air pollutants contributing to climate change.

The reduction of black carbon is being targeted through a revision of the Convention's Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone (Gothenburg Protocol). The inclusion of black carbon under the Gothenburg Protocol is scheduled for completion and adoption by December 2011. In the medium- and long-term, the UNECE Air Convention will investigate the regional impacts of reducing the levels of tropospheric ozone and its precursors, including methane and carbon monoxide, considering both climate change and air quality/health/agriculture benefits.

According to the findings of the UNECE Ad Hoc Expert Group on Black Carbon that were discussed by the Working Group, black carbon emissions in the UNECE region are expected to decline between 2000 and 2020 by about one third, primarily as a result of ongoing implementation of current emission control legislation in the transport sector. However, additional measures could reduce them by another 40% by 2020. [UNECE Press Release]