US signs air pollution protocol

The US has signed an international protocol to reduce air emissions of pollutants that cause acid rain and urban air pollution.

The Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-Level Ozone has been signed by 27 countries and is intended to create the first international programme to reduce the long range transport of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia.

The agreement must be ratified by at least 16 countries and is the latest in a series of international protocols promoting the control and understanding of air pollution in North America and Europe.

Commitments made by the US and Canada will be formalised when the two countries have completed ozone negotiations under the 1991 US-Canada Air Quality Agreement.

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