Monitoring and evaluation of long-range transmissions of air pollutants in Europe: international cost-sharing

Official title: UNECE Protocol on Long-Term Financing of the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmissions of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) (Protocol to the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP))

Subject category:
Type of agreement / instrument:
Legally-binding treaty
  • Canada does not have assessed (mandatory) contributions to the UNECE, but is expected to make periodic voluntary contributions in support of the Convention’s work.
  • Signed: October 3, 1984.
  • Ratified: December 4, 1985.
  • In force in Canada: January 28, 1988.
  • In force internationally: January 28, 1988.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information:
Web links:

The 1984 Geneva Protocol on Long-term Financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP)

ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
June 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

LRTAP and its Protocols are a leading scientific and policy forum for air pollution. The LRTAP Convention itself does not contain any means for financing the science-related work of the Convention. This work includes the monitoring of far-reaching transportation of air pollutants and evaluating the impacts those have on air, land and water quality. Although Canada does not have mandatory financial obligations under this Agreement, Canada does participate actively through other means by providing expertise, in-kind support and exchanging information.


The Protocol established the financial mechanism and international cost sharing for a monitoring program critical to support work under the Convention where review and assessment of air pollution in Europe is required. The monitoring and evaluation of long-range transmission of pollutants is an integral component of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

Key elements

The Steering Body to EMEP is tasked with implementing the core scientific work that is funded by this Protocol. Several sub-groups and task forces have been struck to assist in particular areas of the implementation of the Convention. This includes the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution, the Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections, the Task Force on Measurements and Modelling, and the Task Force on Integrated Assessment Modelling, amongst others.

This protocol enables the work of EMEP. It has three main components: collection of emissions data; measurement of air and precipitation quality; and modeling of the movement of air pollution.

The protocol establishes funding based on annual mandatory contributions from countries within the geographic scope of EMEP. Voluntary contributions to the activities of the Convention can be made by countries outside the geographic scope of EMEP (Canada, U.S.).

Expected results

The Protocol provides the necessary funding mechanism for the EMEP monitoring program activities.

Canada’s involvement

Canada does not have assessed (i.e., mandatory) contributions to the UNECE, but is expected to make periodic voluntary contributions in support of the Convention’s work.

Results / progress


Some of the work of EMEP includes:

  • Cooperation on environmental monitoring between Parties which takes into account present and future national/sub-regional/regional and other international programmes;
  • Using comparative/standardized procedures for monitoring;
  • Exchanging data on emissions;
  • Providing meteorological data; and
  • Monitoring chemical components of water, soil, vegetation and materials

Canada recognizes the important work that takes place under the Air Convention and acknowledges the growing concern over the impacts of air pollution globally.  Canada has contributed to the Air Convention’s Trust Fund in the past and regularly undertakes internal analyses to determine if Canada could make financial contributions to the Convention in the future.

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