Acid lessons? LRTAP implementation and effectiveness

  • Wettestad J
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The article reviews current literature on LRTAP implementation and effectiveness, and suggests ten main 'acid answers' and lessons based on the literature so far: first, LRTAP is a high-compliance regime; second, important causal factors for compliance levels are found outside the sphere of 'environmental politics'; third, 'national interests' based on cost/benefit calculations can roughly predict levels of compliance; fourth, especially in the NO(x) context, domestic political factors must also be included in order to understand compliance levels; fifth, although LRTAP has had important arena functions, much of the reductions would save taken place anyway; sixth, the transboundary acidification problems have been reduced, but the transboundary 'solution' and getting below 'critical loads' in both the rural and urban environment is a venture extending well into the next century; seventh, LRTAP's scientific-political complex has been very valuable; eighth, provision of information has been the important LRTAP mechanism; ninth, research has so far been mainly complementary; tenth, improving knowledge of the regime-domestic interplay, including institutional access and participation issues as well as the EC-LRTAP interplay, is amongst the main challenges for further research.

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  • Joørgen Wettestad

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