The Protocol sets national emission ceilings for 2010 up to 2020 for four pollutants: sulphur (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ammonia (NH3). It thus builds on the previous Protocols that addressed sulphur emissions (1985 Protocol; 1994 Protocol), VOCs and NOx. These ceilings were negotiated on the basis of scientific assessments of pollution effects and abatement options. Parties whose emissions have a more severe environmental or health impact and whose emissions are relatively cheap to reduce have to make the biggest cuts.

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Entry into force: 
17 May 2005