ACAP was originally founded as an Arctic Council plan to address the Arctic pollution sources identified through AMAP. It became Arctic Council's sixth permanent Working Group in 2006. It acts as a strengthening and supporting mechanism to encourage national actions to reduce emissions and other releases of pollutants. Co-operative actions will make an important and significant contribution to the overall international effort to reduce environmental damage on a global level.
The Arctic states are represented in ACAP by national delegations. Permanent Participants take part in ACAP meetings when possible.
ACAP's work is led by Chairmanship that rotates between the countries every second year. The organizational issues are dealt with by Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Secretary. Traditionally, the Vice-Chair represents the state that will take over the chairmanship in the following term. Presently, ACAP is chaired by Sweden.
ACAP currently has four Expert Groups working to develop practical actions to reduce the pollution of the Arctic environment. ACAP works according to the Work Plan adopted by the Ministers.