Baltic states achieve 50% pollution cut goal

Helsinki Commission to move ahead with new aim to phase out hazardous substances by 2020

Emissions, losses and discharges to the Baltic Sea of a group of 47 hazardous substances have been cut by half since the late 1980s, the international Baltic protection commission announced on Friday. The Helsinki Commission (Helcom) says it will now aim for a phase-out by 2020, in line with a goal agreed by signatories to the parallel Ospar convention in 1998.

The nine countries bordering the Baltic and the European Commission agreed to the 50% reduction target in 1988, setting a 1995 deadline. They failed to meet it, and subsequently extended the timetable to 2005 (EED 27/03/98).

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