ASTA and Europe

ASTA and Sweden

ASTA and Europe Funding Agencies

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The CLRTAP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) was established in 1979 for the control of regional air pollution problems in Europe. Under the Convention several protocols have been signed, most recently the so called Gothenburg Protocol, directed towards sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia in one joint strategy.

The purpose of the protocol is to control several environmental problems; acidification, eutrophication, effects of ozone to vegetation and human health and includes national emission control requirements for all signing countries. The overall ambition of the protocol is to reach specific environmental targets at the lowest cost. Scientific research has played an important role in the development of the protocols and the associated abatement strategies ever since the discovery of the regional air pollution problems (in particular acidification).

The ASTA research programme was outlined in 1998 and the decision for support was taken by the MISTRA foundation in October 1998. At that time agreements were expected to be reached within a year or two on substantial reductions of emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, VOC and ammonia. It was also clear that the reductions would not be enough to reach long term objectives for the protection of human health, welfare and ecosystems in Europe. New negotiations were expected to take place some years after 2000 and ASTA was formed as a scientific research programme in support of the development of these new policies. A number of specific research areas were chosen, primarily based on expected needs for improvements in the coming strategies and competence in Sweden.