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Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds

The 1991 Geneva Protocol concerning the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds or their Transboundary Fluxes

In November 1991, the Protocol to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution on the Control of Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, i.e. hydrocarbons) or Their Transboundary Fluxes, the second major air pollutant responsible for the formation of ground level ozone, was adopted. It has entered into force on 29 September 1997.
This Protocol specifies three options for emission reduction targets that have to be chosen upon signature or upon ratification:

(i) 30% reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 1999 using a year between 1984 and 1990 as a basis. (This option has been chosen by Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom with 1988 as base year, by Denmark with 1985, by Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the United States with 1984, and by Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco and Slovakia with 1990 as base year);

(ii) The same reduction as for (i) within a Tropospheric Ozone Management Area (TOMA) specified in annex I to the Protocol and ensuring that by 1999 total national emissions do not exceed 1988 levels. (Annex I specifies TOMAs in Norway (base year 1989) and Canada (base year 1988));

(iii) Finally, where emissions in 1988 did not exceed certain specified levels, Parties may opt for a stabilization at that level of emission by 1999. (This has been chosen by Bulgaria, Greece, and Hungary).


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