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Anthropogenically induced changes in atmospheric composition are responsible for major environmental, health and economic challenges at both global and regional levels. On a regional scale air pollution causes environmental damage, impacts on human health and key economic sectors such as agriculture.
Climate change due to the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the one of the most challenging environmental issues facing governments around the world..
Addressed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and informed by the work of the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The destruction of ozone in the upper atmosphere by ozone depleting substances is also an issue, which requires ongoing action at a global level. Since 1989 this has been addressed under the Montreal Protocol - http://ozone.unep.org/Publications/MP_Handbook/index.shtml.
Addressed under the United Nations Economic Commission on Europe (UNECE) and informed by a range of expert bodies.
Fig. 1 - View of Malin Head Atmospheric Research Station, County Donegal
International actions to address these issues are informed by scientific research and analyses of data from systematic observations. Information based on scientific, technical and socio-economic analyses forms the basis for development of policy at national, regional and global levels.
International actions to address these areas are developed under different bodies and scientific information is provided by a number of structures at regional and global levels.
While there are significant differences between the issues of climate change, air pollution and ozone depletion there are also considerable links between these issues at a scientific and technical level.
Significant synergies also exist between policy actions in these areas, which support strategies to address these issues at local levels. The EPA provides expert scientific support for development of national responses to these issues based on its internal activities & expert base and through the development of research in these areas.
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