Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution

To develop a comprehensive understanding of intercontinental transport of air pollution in the Northern Hemisphere, the Executive Body of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) established the Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP) aiming to:

  • Plan and conduct the technical work necessary to develop a fuller understanding of the hemispheric transport of air pollution for consideration in the reviews of protocols to the Convention;
  • Plan and conduct the technical work necessary to estimate the hemispheric transport of specific air pollutants for the use in reviews of protocols to the Convention and prepare technical reviews thereon for submission to the Steering Body of EMEP;
  • Carry out such other tasks related to the above work as the Executive Body may assign to it in the annual work-plan. [See Annex IV of ECE/EB.AIR/83/Add.1].

Despite air pollutants emitted locally and regionally, the are the main cause of air pollution problems worldwide as many of them are transported on a hemispheric or global scale. Among pollutants, flows of:

  • ozone and its precursors
  • fine particles
  • acidifying substances
  • mercury
  • persistent organic pollutants

are studied for understanding air pollution problems in population centers and impacts on remote areas.

The Task Force is chaired by Mr. Andre Zuber (European Community) and Mr. Terry Keating (United States). Participation in the Task Force is open to all interested experts. National authorities (both inside and outside the UNECE), as well as intergovernmental and accredited non-governmental organizations, are encouraged to nominate an individual expert as a national (or organizational) focal point.

 The Task Force serves as a forum for international scientific communication and collaboration and as a bridge between the international research community and the international policy community. To focus its work, the Task Force has identified a series of policy-relevant science questions. The Task Force is working to address these questions through periodic assessment reports and through new collaborative research and analysis efforts related to global and regional modeling, emissions and projections, and observations.

 Within HTAP, CNR-IIA leads the interim assessment report on mercury. This report will inform the LRTAP Convention and also other organisations concerned with long range transport of air pollution. An interim assessment report which focused on ozone and fine particles was produced in 2007 to inform the review of 1999 Gothenburg Protocol.