The Gothenburg protocol, signed in 1999 under the UN ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), specifies emission ceilings of specified pollutants for each European country, including the UK. These were subsequently tightened slightly for the EU countries under EC legislation, and cover NOx, SO2, NH3 and VOCs in order to combat problems of acidification, eutrophication, and excess tropospheric ozone. Further work under the UN ECE Task Force on Integrated Assessment Modelling TFIAM is now addressing exposure to fine particles and associated health effects. The aim of this project is to assist the work of TFIAM in developing and reviewing protocols under the CLRTAP, and to investigate cost-effective strategies for attainment of the agreed UK emission ceilings that also achieve improved environmental protection in the UK.
The project is based on integrated assessment modelling, which brings together information on emissions, atmospheric transport and deposition, critical loads and levels of exposure whose exceedance could cause adverse environmental effects, and potential abatement measures and their costs. This information is used to select those measures that maximise environmental improvement at least cost. At the European level the Abatement Strategies Assessment Model, ASAM, has been used in parallel with the RAINS model of IIASA to examine areas of uncertainty in deriving emission ceilings, and the robustness of strategies put forward for negotiation. More recently a UK scale integrated assessment model, UKIAM, has been developed using more detailed environmental and emission data, to examine alternative ways of meeting UK commitments in accordance with the Gothenburg protocol and subsequent EC legislation.
Timescale and cost
Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ
Contact: Prof Helen ApSimon, Department of Environmental Science and Technology (DEST) e.mail: email@example.com