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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 Dec 2011

Emissions of acidifying substances (CSI 001/APE 007) - Assessment published Dec 2011

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Agriculture Agriculture

Industry Industry

Tags:
soer2010 | air quality | nh3 | csi | so2 | nox | air emissions | nitrogen | sox | air pollution indicators | 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 the acidifying pollutants (nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX) and ammonia (NH3) have decreased significantly in most of the individual EEA member countries between 1990 and 2009. Emissions of SOX have decreased by 76%, NOX by 41% and NH3 emissions by 26% since 1990.
  • The EU-27 is on track to meet its overall target to reduce emissions of SOX and NH3 as specified by the EU’s National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD). However a number of individual Member States, and the EU as a whole, anticipates missing their NECD 2010 emission ceilings for NOX.
  • Of the three non-EU countries having emission ceilings for 2010 under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), both Liechtenstein and Norway reported NOX emissions in 2009 that were substantially higher than their respective 2010 ceilings.

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

Note: The reported change in sulphur dioxide emissions (SO2) for each country, 1990-2009, 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, 1990-2009, 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, 1990-2009 in comparison with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

In the EEA-32 region and within most (20 of 32) countries, emissions of the three acidifying pollutants SOX, NOX and NH3 have decreased significantly between 1990 and 2009 (Figure 1). Further details of these reductions are provided in the separate indicator factsheets for SOX, 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 SOX emissions - since 1990 these have decreased by 76% (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 also contributed to the emission reduction of NOX and SOX emissions between 2007 and 2009. For example, emissions of SOX and NOX in the EEA-32 have fallen by 28% and 15% respectively between 2007 and 2009, 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:

 

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, and a proposal for a revised directive is expected by 2013. A proposal for a revised Gothenburg protocol is presently under international negotiation. The revised protocol is expected to include emission ceilings to be met by 2020 for the four already regulated substances (NOX, NMVOCs, SOX 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

Change in sulphur oxides emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in nitrogen oxides emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in ammonia emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in ammonia (NH3) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2009.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in SOx 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 2009.

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 2009.

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 2009.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

In 2009 the most significant emission sources of each acidifying pollutant in the EEA-32 region were:

  • Agriculture' (contributing 93.9% of ammonia emissions),
  • Road transport' (38.4% of nitrogen oxide emissions) and
  • Energy production and distribution' (70.2% of sulphur oxide emissions) (Figure 5).

 

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 SOX, a) the impact of European Union 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

2011 2.1.1 (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