Air: International air pollution control

Since air pollutants do not recognise national borders, many air quality problems cannot be resolved by one country on its own. It is only possible to reduce air pollution if neighbouring countries also take appropriate measures. In view of this, Switzerland is actively involved in a variety of international organisations that focus on limiting air pollution in Europe.


This Convention was concluded in Geneva in 1979 and entered into force in 1983. It comprises eight protocols on the reduction of specific air pollutants. It currently numbers more than 50 signatory states from Europe, Central Asia and North America. Switzerland has ratified all the protocols, and the FOEN is actively involved in a variety of CLRTAP committees.

WHO Air Quality Guidelines

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published new updated recommendations on air quality on 22.09.2021. Like the previous guidelines, they aim to protect human health and take into account the latest state of knowledge. The WHO recommendations will now be evaluated by the Federal Commission on Air Hygiene (FCAH) for Switzerland which will then submit its conclusions and proposals together with an evaluation report to the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).

WP.29 Vehicle Regulations

This organisation is responsible for the development and worldwide harmonisation of technical standards for motor vehicles. The FOEN was actively involved in the Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE) UNECE WP.29. From 2011 to 2013 it has been heading a working group that is developing a globally harmonised test procedure for passenger cars.

Further information

Last modification 11.02.2022

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