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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 2012

Emissions of acidifying substances (CSI 001/APE 007) - Assessment published Dec 2012

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, 2020
Geographic coverage:
EEA Member Countries (EEA32) Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark EU32 Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey United Kingdom
 
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 2010. Emissions of SOX have decreased by 75%, NOX by 42% and NH3 emissions by 28% since 1990 within the EEA-32.
  • Data reported under the NECD indicates that the EU-27 as a whole has met its overall target to reduce emissions of SOX and NH3 as specified by the EU’s National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD). However twelve individual Member States, and the EU as a whole, reported emissions in the 2010 above their NECD 2010 emission ceilings for NOX, although the twelve Member States joining the EU in 2004/7 reported combined emissions below their collective NECD ceiling. Three EU-27 member states also reported 2010 NH3 emissions above the levels of their NECD ceilings, neither of which are in the group of twelve new EU member states.
  • 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 2010 that were substantially higher than their respective 2010 ceilings. Liechtenstein also reported 2010 NH3 emissions above the level of their Gothenburg protocol 2010 ceiling.

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

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

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in ammonia (NH3) emissions compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in ammonia (NH3) emissions for each country, 1990-2010 in comparison with the 2010 NECD and 2020 Gothenburg protocol targets.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Key assessment

In the EEA-32 region and within most (i.e. 20 of 32) countries, emissions of the three acidifying pollutants SOXNOand NH3 have decreased significantly between 1990 and 2010 (Figure 1). Further details of these reductions are provided in the separate indicator factsheets for SOXNOand NH3, together with assessments of the progress being made by countries towards meeting their respective 2020 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 75% (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 NOand SOX emissions between 2007 and 2010. For example, emissions of SOand NOX in the EEA-32 have fallen by 24% and 16% respectively between 2007 and 2010, a significantly greater reduction than in the preceding three 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 National Emissions Ceilings Directive is currently being reviewed, as part of the implementation of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, planned for 2013. A revision of the Gothenburg protocol was published in June 2012, and proposed percentage emission reductions from 2005 levels to be met by 2020 for the four already regulated substances (NOX, NMVOC, SOand NH3) and in addition for primary emissions of PM2.5. Existing emission ceilings for 2010 have been extended to 2020 such that all countries have additional obligations to maintain emission levels below their 2010 ceilings, or to further reduce emissions if they have not yet met these ceilings.

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 in 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in sulphur oxides emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in ammonia emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in ammonia (NH3) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010 (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions between 1990 and 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2010 (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions between 1990 and 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in ammonia (NH3) 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 2010.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

In 2010 the most significant emission sources of each acidifying pollutant in the EEA-32 region were:

  • 'Agriculture' (contributing 94% of ammonia emissions),
  • 'Road transport' (41% of emissions of nitrogen oxides) and
  • 'Energy production and distribution' (57%% of emissions of sulphur oxides) (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 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;
  • for NOX, the introduction of flue-gas abatement techniques (e.g. flue gas desulphurisation, NOX scrubbers and selective catalytic and non-catalytic reduction, i.e. SCR and SNCR) and introduction of combustion modification technologies (such as use of low NOX burners);
  • for SOX, the impact of European Union directives relating to the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels, and 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 energy production, industrial and domestic sectors.

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

2012 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