I saw this as a litmus test for Canada-U.S. relations, and I told both Presidents Reagan and Bush. In fact, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, during a visit to Ottawa in January 1987, said he "received an ear for acid rain." He did it. Frank Carlucci, President Reagan`s national security adviser and defense secretary, describes in an oral history project at the University of Virginia how President Reagan became testy, while his officials continued to block and block my government on issues ranging from acid rain to Arctic sovereignty to free trade: Stewart recognizes a big difference between fighting acid rain and fighting climate change. The political climate in the United States has changed dramatically since the time of the first President Bush – and the current tenant of the White House is much less interested in environmental issues. The Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement was signed in 1991 by Canada and the United States to address transboundary air pollution that causes acid rain. The two countries agreed to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the primary precursors of acid rain, and to work together on scientific and technical cooperation related to acid rain. Looking back at the fight against acid rain, Smol said he could now see it as a training run in the much more daunting fight against climate change. And thirdly, he dealt with the environment and the acid rain file.
In the 1991 Air Quality Agreement (AQA), a bilateral executive agreement, the United States and Canada committed to addressing transboundary air pollution problems. The EQA established a framework to address common concerns related to transboundary air pollution and, in the first annex to the agreement, set targets for each country to reduce emissions that lead to acid deposition. An additional annex to the agreement was on scientific cooperation, and in 1997 the parties signed a "commitment to develop a joint action plan for the control of transboundary air pollution" in order to jointly address the common problems of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM). While scientific assessment activities were underway to better understand transboundary PM issues, the Parties moved forward in 2000 to establish an annex on near-ground ozone in the eastern border region. . . .