EMEP - Overview and Mandate

The Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) was initiated in 1977 as a special programme under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It has operated under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution since the Convention entered into force in 1983. 

EMEP provides sound scientific support to the Convention, in particular in the areas of: atmospheric monitoring and modeling; emission inventories and emission projections; and integrated assessment. As the source of information on the emission, transport and deposition of air pollution, EMEP plays a major role in informing policy developments under the Convention. 

The information EMEP provides to Governments relates to the deposition and concentration of air pollutants, as well as to the quantity and significance of the long-range transmission of air pollutants and fluxes across boundaries. Information on the relative importance of local and distant sources also guides national authorities in setting appropriate local and regional permissible emission levels, taking into account the international implications of these levels. In addition, information on the deposition and concentrations of air pollutants are a basis for abatement strategies in the regions affected.

In 2004, an EMEP Assessment Report was published, describing the development of long-range transboundary air pollution in Europe since the start of EMEP in 1977. The full report can be found here.

EMEP Steering Body - Structure

The EMEP Steering Body is the supervisory body to the EMEP programme. It is composed of representatives of scientific authorities of Parties to the Convention. The EMEP Steering Body meets annually and reports to the Executive Body on its activities. In collaboration with the Working Group on Effects, the EMEP Steering Body represents the main scientific and technical subsidiary bodies that provide the Convention with technical support on how to achieve environmental goals in a cost-effective way.

The operation of EMEP is coordinated by five programme centres (the Chemical Coordinating Centre, the Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-West, the Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-East, Centre for Emission Inventories and Projections and the Centre for Integrated Assessment Modelling) and four task forces (on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution, on Measurements and Modeling (hyperlink), on Emission Inventories and Projections, and on Integrated Assessment Modeling). The centres and task forces report annually to the EMEP Steering Body, which in turn reports to the Executive Body of the Convention.

The Bureau of the EMEP Steering Body functions as an intersessional forum to the EMEP Steering Body. The Bureau is elected by the Steering Body and meets with the representatives of the task forces and programme centres to make strategic proposals regarding the workplan and budget for EMEP. 

In order to harmonize workplans and to coordinate activities, the EMEP Steering Body and the Working Group on Effects as well as their Bureaux have annual joint meetings.  

Financing

EMEP is financed through the first Protocol to the Convention, 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), which was adopted by the Executive Body in 1984 and entered into force in 1988.