Implementation of the Environmental Action Programme for CEE
|Local Air Pollution|
Collaborative Program on Improving Local Air Quality in Central and Eastern Europe
Final Draft Program Outline
March 19, 1996
The Third "Environment for Europe" ministerial conference, October 1995, Sofia, Bulgaria, welcomed the "Sofia initiatives" of the CEE countries, aiming to accelerate the implementation of the Environmental Action Programme (EAP) for Central and Eastern Europe through policy, regulation and investment measures. One of these initiatives is the general improvement of local air quality in Central and Eastern Europe (including the states of the former Soviet Union). Two areas of emphasis are outlined: the advanced promotion of unleaded gasoline throughout the region, and the significant reduction of sulfur and particulate emissions. It is also emphasized that any program or initiative resulting from the conference should rely on east-east experience sharing, in cooperation with western partners.
The proposed program would promote cooperation among air pollution control experts at national and municipal levels in developing and implementing activities for measurable improvements in air quality in highly polluted urban areas. It would support:
- exchange of information on local air pollution control strategies and their implementation;
- harmonization of policies, standards and regulations among the participating countries (with regard to international practices and approximation to the EU) ; and
- development and implementation of national or municipal strategies for least cost reduction of airborne lead, particulates and sulfur, as well as public information and participation.
The programme would produce a progress report on the achievements for the conference to be held in Denmark in 1998.
3. Tasks to be undertaken
A. Promoting unleaded gasoline in Central and Eastern Europe
There is an extensive international experience on this issue, including a variety of policy and investment approaches applied in some CEE countries. Slovakia effectively phased out leaded gasoline in 1995, while the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Poland have seen a fairly rapid growth in the consumption of unleaded gasoline. The same process is now underway in Bulgaria. The countries of the former Soviet Union also expressed interest in dealing with airborne lead pollution in major urban areas. There is an accumulated experience throughout the region with regulatory and tax incentives for accelerating the transition toward unleaded fuels.
Since urban traffic volumes have been growing rapidly, the exposure of children living in the urban areas to lead from traffic has been increasing, causing heightened concerns of the environmental and health authorities. An exchange of experience among CEE countries, as well as east-west partnership and joint CEE activities for promoting the phase-out of leaded gasoline, would be both efficient and cost-effective.
This program component will follow up on the outcomes of the Workshop on Unleaded Gasoline and Heavy Metals, which took place in Slovakia on September 7-8, 1995, as well as on discussions that took place during the Sofia ministerial conference.
Key tasks to be undertaken by the working group on reducing local air pollution with respect to phasing out leaded gasoline in the CEE countries would include:
- Preparation of country case studies identifying successful lead phase-out programmes and problems encountered: Examples from selected (5) CEE countries that are in the process of phasing out the leaded gasoline would be prepared and given to the working group.
- Preparation of technical studies on available technology options and alternatives as well as the costs and the benefits of the various options: To prepare an overview of various available options for phase-out of leaded gasoline. The overview will be based on existing experience and the present state of technology. The pros and cons of the various options should be evaluated together with their costs and benefits.
- Exchange of experience between the participating countries about ongoing programmes: The countries will discuss the issues arising in policy development and implementation as they proceed with phase-out.
The working group will support individual countries in the following tasks:
- Set preliminary targets for leaded gasoline phase-out -- On a country specific level, propose targets for market share of unleaded gasoline, car fleet renewal, and fuel quality standards (including the level of lead content).
- Prepare technical studies to assess the cost and benefits of implementation -- Based on the preliminary targets, assess the necessary investment, recurring costs, and benefits, as well as the parties who would bear the costs (e.g., private refineries, state-owned enterprises, consumers) and reap the benefits.
- Set final targets -- Based on the results of task 2, adjust the preliminary targets taking into account the estimated benefits, costs, and macroeconomic policies of each country.
- Develop related policies and public awareness programs -- In addition to the technical studies, prepare a complete public awareness program and necessary policy changes to ensure the success of the conversion from leaded to unleaded gasoline.
- Identify investment/assistance need -- Having evaluated the technical studies in light of the final targets, the investments needed and the amount of assistance required to implement the projects will be identified.
- Prepare projects for implementation -- With specific projects identified, undergo the necessary feasibility studies, etc., as well as develop financial packages necessary to implement the projects.
- Implement policy changes, public awareness programs, and necessary investments -- Carry out comprehensive implementation programs.
B. Reducing the level of sulfur and particulate emissions
While both sulfur dioxide and particulates emissions have fallen in most of the highly polluted urban areas, they continue to cause a serious health hazard for at least 25 million people in Central and Eastern Europe. The main reasons for improvements to date have been the decrease in industrial production and the rehabilitation or closure of some industrial or energy facilities. The impact on ambient air quality has been less than proportional to the fall in total emissions because there has been little if any change in emissions from low stack sources. As industrial production recovers over the next 2-3 years, the environmental authorities should be able to ensure that emissions of particulates and sulfur from large sources remain stable or decline while policies for air pollution reduction cover small sources as well.
This is particularly important for industrial and urban centers where air quality is classified as "very poor" on the basis that levels of dust or sulfur dioxide exceed relevant EU limits. A network or program for cities in this category, with participation of national environmental authorities, municipalities and NGOs, would encourage cooperation in developing and implementing effective policy, regulatory and investment measures for low-cost reduction of particulates and sulfur emissions.
- Preparation of country case studies on successful local air pollution abatement programmes and problems encountered: Examples from selected CEE countries that have positive experience in reducing levels of sulfur and particulates in urban areas will be prepared and presented to the working group.
- Preparation of technical studies on available technological options and alternatives as well as the costs and the benefits of various options: Based on existing experience and state of technology an overview of various options available for reduction of sulfur and particulates will be prepared. Special attention will be paid to certain options, for example district heating, coal to gas conversion, industrial emission control, regulation of traffic and others. The pros and cons of various options should be evaluated together with their specific cost and benefits.
- Exchange of experience between the participating countries about ongoing programmes. The countries will discuss the issues arising in policy development and implementation as they proceed with the implementation.
The working group will support individual countries in the following tasks:
- Development of local/regional programmes for reduction of sulfur and particulate emissions: Experience from currently running local and regional programmes would be made available to other local bodies and government agencies interested in developing such programmes.
- Promotion of least-cost solutions for pollution reduction in participating cities: Through technical and cost - benefit/cost effectiveness studies, as well as experience from more advanced communities, decisions on least cost solutions could be promoted and justified
- Identification of pilot investments and assistance needed for project preparation: Having evaluated the technical studies, the assistance required to implement the projects will be identified.
- Development of related public awareness programmes: In addition to the technical studies, prepare a complete public awareness program and necessary policy changes to ensure the success of the air pollution abatement programmes.
- Implementation of policy changes, public awareness programmes and investment projects: Within their work, the government and local/regional agencies will implement the developed programmes and projects.
The Local Air Quality collaborative programme is open for all participants in the Environment for Europe process, who wish to contribute to the programme's objectives and outcomes. The CEE countries are encouraged to involve experts from the air quality departments and from the policy units of their environmental authorities, as well as relevant representatives of the municipal authorities and NGO representatives. A core programme Working Group from the CEE countries includes representatives of the countries, which had supported the Local Air Quality initiative prior to the Sofia conference (Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland). Western partners and international organizations have also indicated interest in one or more of the programme's activities.
Participation in the programme would be maintained open-ended -- both CEE and Western participants are welcome to join all or some of the activities in accordance with their interests and at any point in time. Reporting commitments are voluntary; however, participants are expected to carry out their commitments, once such commitments are made.
In line with the decisions of the Sofia conference to encourage gradual shift of activities to the CEE countries, it is proposed that core meetings related to the initiative would take place in CEE countries.
5. Proposed Core Steps and Timetable
A draft Programme Outline was distributed during the Task Force meeting in Geneva in January 1996 and prior to this organizational meeting. The Programme Outline, to be finalized in Sofia on March 18, 1996, would be sent to the members of the core programme Working Group for endorsement. The countries should send their comments to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment by March 31, 1996. After that, the programme will be submitted to the EAP Task Force meeting on April 25 - 26, 1996 in Paris.
In accordance with the draft Programme Outline, five core meetings are proposed to take place between March 1996 and May 1998. The main themes and suggested place and time for these meetings are as follows:
- Dealing with SO2 and particulates: a study tour and a seminar on best practices -- September 1996, in Poland;
- Dealing with airborne lead: presentation of key achievements and review on national action plans -- May 1997, Bourgas, Bulgaria;
- Presentation of country case studies -- September 1997:
- on SO2 and particulate reduction -- in Slovenia;
- on airborne lead reduction -- in Slovakia; and
- Review and discussion of a Draft Synthesis Report -- January 1998, Hungary.
The host countries are proposed only tentatively. In each of these core meetings, experience of the host country would be presented and progress in fulfilling the programme would be discussed. A detailed agenda would be designed and circulated to the programme's participants for comments at least one month prior to the meeting.
Preparation of the first meeting will start as soon as the programme is approved by the Task Force and sufficient funding is available. It will include preparation of case studies of experience of 5 countries. The basic content of these studies is outlined below:
- review of the legal structure regarding air pollution,
- regulations, technical standards,
- status of harmonization with the EU regulations,
- policy and project experience in local air pollution abatement (lead, SO2 and particulates),
- trends in local air pollution,
- open issues.
6. Organizational arrangements
At the meeting in Sofia on March 18, dr. Yontcho Pelovsky, Deputy Minister for Environment of Bulgaria was appointed Chairman of the Working Group. Countries will prepare proposals for two Deputies (overseeing activities related to lead and to SO2 accordingly) by the Task Force meeting in Paris on April 25-26.
The Chairman should review options for obtaining secretariat services and international technical and policy expertise from interested international organizations (e.g., the OECD, the World Bank, the Regional Environment Center). The Working Group Secretariat would also serve as a focal point for processing documentation and coordinating the implementation of the programme. The World Bank has committed itself at the Sofia meeting to assist mainly with technical expertise and coordination of necessary studies, including preparing Terms of Reference.
The Chairman and his Deputies would be requested to develop a proposal for the organizational framework and to carry out the necessary consultations for finalizing the organizational arrangements. For each of the core steps of the programme appropriate East-East and East-West "twinning" arrangements would be made to assure know-how transfer and enhanced partnerships.
In its work, the programme would undertake to use country experts to the extent possible. International experts would be used to provide specific technical expertise, transfer of experience from the western countries and for other tasks as required.
Once the programme outline is agreed upon, the Chairperson and his/her Deputies, would be asked to prepare a draft budget and take steps to identify potential funding sources. Some Western countries and international organizations have already indicated interest in supporting the programme; others have requested detailed information in order to assess whether they can consider active participation and financial support. The draft budget and preliminary indications of support should be prepared by the next EAP Task Force meeting and should include:
- Preparation of country case studies,
- Preparation of technical studies,
- Costs of meetings.
The participating CEE countries should bear a part of the cost (e.g. providing information, travel to meetings, part of the organization of meetings they host).
|Coordinator in Sofia (full time)||20.000 ECU|
|Management at international organization (1/2 time)||20.000 ECU|
|Secretariat travel & communication (coordinator and chairman)||20.000 ECU|
Study tours and experience transfer
|5 country visits at 25.000 ECU||125.000 ECU|
|Country case studies (min. 5)||20.000 ECU|
|Technical studies funded by donors individually (min. 2 at 400.000 ECU)||800.000 ECU|
|Synthesis report||10.000 ECU|
|Total without technical studies||215.000 ECU|
REC * PROGRAMS * SOFIA INITIATIVES * LOCAL AIR POLLUTION * DOCUMENTS