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Emission trends of non-methane volatile organic compounds NMVOC

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This content has been archived on 18 Jun 2015, reason: Other (Discontinued indicator)

Assessment made on  01 Dec 2005

Generic metadata


Air pollution Air pollution (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Pressure


Indicator codes
  • APE 004
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  Are we reaching emission targets for ozone precursors?


Key assessment

EEA-32 emissions of NMVOCs have decreased by 41% since 1990. In 2005, the most significant sources of NMVOC emissions were the "other (non energy)" sector (35%) (comprising activities such as paint application, dry-cleaning and other use of solvents), and road transport (20%), industry processes (11%) and "other (energy)" (10%) sectors.

The decline in emissions since 1990 has primarily been due to the significant reduction achieved in the road transport sector which has been due to the increased penetration rate of three-way catalytic converters (in which NMVOCs are oxidized to CO2 and H2O) in the European vehicle fleet reflecting introduction of e.g. the Euro vehicle standards and the switching from petrol to diesel cars. NMVOC emissions from diesel and petrol cars differ due to the different engine characteristics. The road transport sector has contributed 61% of the total reduction in NMVOC emissions reported by countries. Significant reductions have also been achieved in the "other (non-energy)" sector, reflecting amongst other measures, the introduction and implementation of the Solvent Emissions and Paints Directives. For example, the Netherlands and Finland reported a decline in emissions of 69% and 64% from this sector largely as a result of compliance with the Solvent"s Directive.

Within the EEA-32 group of countries, all have reported lower emissions in 2005 compared to 1990 except Greece (+18%), Poland (7%) and Turkey (57%).


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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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