Air quality and climate change are becoming increasingly interlinked. Several compounds important for climate change, e.g. ozone and particles, are also important for air pollution. Climate change and air pollution are also interlinked with respect to atmospheric processes and environmental effects. Climate change will influence the emissions, transport and chemical behaviour of atmospheric pollutants and air pollution will influence the greenhouse gas cycles. Policies for one problem will thus influence the other. Climate change policies can have important co-benefits in the form of reduced air pollution. A combined approach of climate change and air pollution could have positive synergetic effects.
The interlink between the problems has been highlighted in several activities, e.g. the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and research programs such the EU ACCENT Network of Excellence. Also within the European Commission the problem has recently become important due to the advantages in linking climate and air pollution policies.
In 2001, the European Commission initiated a process, Clean Air For Europe, directed towards an integrated and holistic view on European air pollution, which in 2005 resulted in a thematic strategy on air pollution outlining needs and possible pathways towards a significant improvement of European air quality in 2020. Also in North America and East and South Asia international initiatives are taken in order to improve air quality.
In 2000 the Swedish ASTA program organised a workshop at Saltsjöbaden, Sweden directed at further needs in air pollution strategies in the view of the recently signed Gothenburg Protocol and the corresponding process under the European Commission. The outcome of the workshop served as a guideline for the further scientific and policy work. In 2004 a second workshop was held in Gothenburg, at which the further development in science and policy were evaluated in the view of expected policy recommendations.
With this announcement we invite you to a 3rd strategic air pollution workshop related to international needs and processes. This workshop will include the two aspects of the earlier workshops; it will both contain an evaluation of present knowledge and processes towards new policies but it will also look at scientific and policy needs in a longer perspective, in particular the links between air pollution and climate change. Aspects of particular importance for this workshop include: The present understanding of air pollution policies in relation to CAFE and CLRTAP. , covering most of the countries in Europe and Canada and USA, has been an important forum for assessments, policy discussions and agreements on control measures for some of the main international atmospheric problems. The Convention has recently also increased its interest to include hemispheric aspects as well as relations between regional (international) and local air pollution issues.
- The interaction between air pollution and climate change, both with respect to atmospheric behaviour and effects in the environment and with respect to policy options. The intercontinental transport of air pollution and needs for a hemispheric approach.
- The importance and policy needs with respect to emissions from shipping.
- The role of nitrogen and possibilities for an integrated policy to control nitrogen emissions and impacts.
- The involvement of countries in transition in the air pollution policy development.