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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of acidifying substances / Emissions of acidifying substances (CSI 001/APE 007) - Assessment published Oct 2010

Emissions of acidifying substances (CSI 001/APE 007) - Assessment published Oct 2010

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Agriculture Agriculture

Industry Industry

Tags:
soer2010 | csi | nh3 | so2 | nox | air emissions | nitrogen | sox | air pollution indicators | air quality | acidification | ammonia | pollution
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 001
  • APE 007
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2010
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What progress is being made in reducing emissions of acidifying pollutants across Europe?

Key messages

  • Emissions of acidifying pollutants (nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SO2) and ammonia (NH3) have decreased significantly in most of the individual EEA member countries between 1990 and 2008.
  • Emissions of SO2 have decreased by 74 %, NOX by 34 % and NH3 emissions by 24 % since 1990.
  • The EU-27 is on track to meet its overall target to reduce emissions of SO2 and NH3 as specified by the EU's NEC Directive (NECD). However a large number of individual Member States, and the EU as a whole, anticipate missing the 2010 emission ceilings set for NOX in the NECD,
  • Of the three non-EU countries having emission ceilings set under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), both Liechtenstein and Norway also reported NOX emissions in 2008 that were substantially higher than their respective 2010 ceilings.

Change in emissions of sulphur dioxide compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in sulphur dioxide emissions (SO2) for each country, 1990-2008, in comparison with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in emissions of nitrogen oxides compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) for each country, 1990-2008, in comparison with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in emissions of ammonia compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in ammonia (NH3) emissions for each country, 1990-2008 in comparison with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

In the EEA-32 region, emissions of acidifying pollutants have decreased between 1990 and 2008 (Figure 1). Within most countries, emissions of acidifying pollutants have also decreased significantly (Figure 2). Details of these reductions are provided in the separate indicator factsheets for SO2, NOX and NH3, together with assessments of the progress being made by countries towards meeting their respective 2010 emission ceiling limits.

The reduction in total acidifying emissions across the EEA-32 has occurred mainly as a result of decreased SO2 emissions - since 1990 these have decreased by 74% (Figure 1). Emissions for the other two acidifying pollutants have also decreased since 1990, although not to the same extent. Key reasons behind the observed reductions in emissions are provided in the 'Specific assessment' section below.

The global recession that commenced mid-2008 has contributed to the emission reduction of NOx and SO2 emissions between 2007 and 2008. For example, emissions of SO2 and NOX in the EEA-32 have fallen by16% and 5% respectively between 2007 and 2008, a significantly greater reduction than in the preceding years.

Further details concerning emissions of the individual acidifying pollutants in individual EEA-32 member countries, may be found in the following indicator fact sheets:

Emission trends of ammonia (NH3)

Emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOX)

Emission trends of sulphur dioxide (SO2).

The Gothenburg Protocol under the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) and the EU Directive on National Emission Ceilings (NECD) (2001/81/EC) both set emission ceilings for the acidifying pollutants that countries must met by 2010. The NECD and Gothenburg protocol are both currently being reviewed. The revision of the NECD is part of the implementation of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, but a proposal for a revised directive is presently on hold until 2013. A proposal to amend the Gothenburg protocol is presently under preparation and is expected to propose emission ceilings to be met by 2020 for the four already regulated substances (NOX, NMVOCs, SO2 and NH3) and in addition for primary emissions of PM2.5.

Specific policy question: How do different sectors and processes contribute to emissions of acidifying pollutants?

Contributions by sector for emissions of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by different sectors to emissions of acidifying pollutants

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in ammonia emissions for each sector (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in ammonia (NH3) emissions between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in sulphur dioxide emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in nitrogen oxides emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in ammonia emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in ammonia (NH3) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in sulphur dioxide emissions for each sector (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in nitrogen oxides emissions for each sector (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

In 2008 the most significant emission sources of each acidifying pollutant in the EEA-32 region were:

  • 'Agriculture' (contributing 94.2% of ammonia emissions),
  • 'Road Transport' (39.6% of nitrogen oxide emissions) and
  • 'Energy Production and Distribution (68.7% of sulphur oxide emissions) (Figure 4).

These same sectors have also each contributed the most to the overall total reduction of the respective pollutants since 1990. Factors that have contributed to the reduction in these sectors include:

  • for SO2, a) the impact of European Community directives relating to the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels, and b) fuel switching from high-sulphur solid (e.g. coal) and liquid (e.g. heavy fuel oil) fuels to low sulphur fuels (such as natural gas) for power and heat production purposes within the 'energy industries', industry and domestic sectors;
  • for NOx, the introduction of flue-gas abatement techniques (e.g. flue gas desulphurisation, NOX scrubbers and selective (SCR) and non-selective (SNCR) catalytic reduction) and introduction of combustion modification technologies (such as use of low NOX burners) and
  • for NH3, a reduction in livestock numbers in the agricultural sector (especially cattle) since 1990, changes in the handling and management of organic manures and from the decreased use of nitrogenous fertilisers.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Martin Adams

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 1.1.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in October-December (Q4)
Document Actions
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100