Air pollution has significant impacts on our health, environment and economy. Pollutants in the air we breathe come from multiple sources, including sectors such as industry, transport and agriculture. Every day, air pollution causes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. It also damages vulnerable ecosystems and biodiversity and leads to a decrease in agricultural crop and commercial forest yields. It is therefore paramount that we take action together — across sectors and national boundaries.
To improve air quality on the local, national and regional levels, UNECE member States have been working successfully to gradually reduce and prevent air pollution in the region. One of the vehicles through which this has been achieved is the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, which was signed in 1979. Over the years, it has been extended by eight protocols that identify specific measures to be taken by Parties to cut their emissions of air pollutants. Fifty-one UNECE member States are Parties to the Convention. Member States also formulate air pollution policies in the framework of the Committee on Environmental Policy.