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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of ozone precursors (version 1)

Emissions of ozone precursors (version 1)

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Contents
 

Justification for indicator selection

Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and methane contribute to the formation of ground-level (tropospheric) ozone. Their relative contributions can be assessed on the basis of their tropospheric ozone-forming potential (TOFP) (de Leeuw 2002).

Ozone is a powerful oxidant and tropospheric ozone can have adverse effects on human health and ecosystems. It is a problem mainly during the summer months. High concentrations of ground-level ozone adversely affects the human respiratory system and there is evidence that long-term exposure accelerates the decline in lung function with age and may impair the development of lung function. Some people are more vulnerable to high concentrations than others, with the worst effects generally being seen in children, asthmatics and the elderly. High concentrations in the environment are harmful to crops and forests, decreasing yields, causing leaf damage and reducing disease resistance.

Scientific references:

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator tracks trends since 1990 in anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursors: Nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, methane and non methane volatile organic compounds, each weighted by their tropospheric ozone-forming potential.

The indicator also provides information on emissions by sectors: Energy industries; road and other transport; industry (processes and energy); other (energy); fugitive emissions; waste; agriculture and other (non energy).

Units

ktonnes (NMVOC-equivalent)

Policy context and targets

Context description

Emission ceiling targets for NOx and NMVOCs are specified in both the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) and the Gothenburg protocol under the United Nations Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) (UNECE 1999). Emission reduction targets for the new EU-12 Member States have been specified in a consolidated version of the NECD for the EU-25 [1] which was adopted by the European Community after the accession of the EU-10 Member States. In addition, the consolidated NECD also includes emission ceilings for Bulgaria and Romania whose targets have been defined in their respective Accession treaties [2].

 

There are no specific EU emission targets set for either carbon monoxide (CO) or methane (CH4). However, there are several Directives and Protocols that affect the emissions of CO and CH4. For example, carbon monoxide is covered by the second daughter Directive under the Air Quality Directive. This gives a limit of 10 ug m-3 for ambient air quality to be met by 2005. Methane is included in the basket of six greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol (see CSI 10: Greenhouse gas emissions and removals).

 

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pdf/necd_consolidated.pdf

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/pdf/eu27_nat_emission_ceilings_2010.pdf

3. UNECE (1999). Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary air pollution (LRTAP Convention) to abate acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1 December 1999.

4. NECD. Directive 2001/81/EC, on national emissions ceilings (NECD) for certain atmospheric pollutants.

Targets

Emissions of NOx and NMVOCs are covered by the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) (2001/81/EC) and the Gothenburg Protocol under the United Nations Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) (UNECE 1999). The NECD generally involves slightly stricter emission reduction targets than the Gothenburg Protocol for EU-15 countries for the period 1990-2010.

Table 1. Percentage reduction required by 2010 from 1990 levels by country, for emissions of ozone precursors NOx and NMVOCs (emission targets weighted by ozone formation potential).

Country group

Country

1990 - 2010: NECD targets

1990 - 2010: LRTAP Convention/Gothenburg targets

EU-15

Austria

-14%

-45%

EU-15

Belgium

-31%

-58%

EU-15

Denmark

-20%

-53%

EU-15

Finland

-28%

-43%

EU-15

France

-28%

-59%

EU-15

Germany

-51%

-69%

EU-15

Greece

22%

5%

EU-15

Ireland

-10%

-48%

EU-15

Italy

-34%

-46%

EU-15

Luxembourg

-84%

-12%

EU-15

Netherlands

-45%

-55%

EU-15

Portugal

14%

-20%

EU-15

Spain

17%

-35%

EU-15

Sweden

-37%

-44%

EU-15

United Kingdom

-48%

-56%

NewEU-12

Bulgaria

34%

15%

NewEU-12

Cyprus

15%

33%

NewEU-12

Czech Republic

-52%

-53%

NewEU-12

Estonia

-44%

-23%

NewEU-12

Hungary

1%

-24%

NewEU-12

Latvia

-11%

19%

NewEU-12

Lithuania

-36%

-18%

NewEU-12

Malta

-17%

24%

NewEU-12

Poland

-2%

-22%

NewEU-12

Romania

3%

18%

NewEU-12

Slovakia

-47%

-28%

NewEU-12

Slovenia

-19%

-21%

 

EU-27

-30%

-51%

EFTA-4

Liechtenstein

-38%

-19%

EFTA-4

Norway

-22%

-30%

EFTA-4

Switzerland

-58%

-50%

CC-3

Turkey

87%

-85%

Related policy documents

  • 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone
    Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution 1999 Protocol to Abate Acidification, Eutrophication and Ground-level Ozone.
  • Directive 2001/81/EC, national emission ceilings
    Directive 2001/81/EC, on nation al emissions ceilings (NECD) for certain atmospheric pollutants. Emission reduction targets for the new EU10 Member States have been specified in the Treaty of Accession to the European Union 2003  [The Treaty of Accession 2003 of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. AA2003/ACT/Annex II/en 2072] in order that they can comply with the NECD.

Key policy question

What progress is being made in reducing emissions of ozone precursors across Europe?

Specific policy question

How do different sectors and processes contribute to emissions of ozone precursors?

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The dataset compiled by EEA/ETC-ACC for this indicator is based on national total and sectoral emissions of CO, NMVOC and NOx (expressed as NO2) officially reported to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution (LRTAP Convention) and GHG Monitoring Mechanism.

Emissions data reported to the LRTAP Convention can be submitted in NFR format. A detailed discription of the difference reporting formats can be found in the EMEP/CORINAIR Emission Inventory Guidebook - 2006 (1).

Base data is available from http://webdab.emep.int/ and from the EEA dataservice.  Emission data for methane is obtained from the EEA Greenhouse Gas Inventory database. Base data, reported in NFR are converted into EEA sector codes to obtain a common reporting format across all countries and pollutants:

-          Energy industry: Emissions from public heat and electricity generation

-          Fugitive emissions: Emissions from extraction and distribution of solid fossil fuels and geothermal energy

-          Industry (Energy): relates to emissions from combustion processes used in the manufacturing industry including boilers, gas turbines and stationary engines

-          Industry (Processes): Emissions from production processes

-          Road transport: light and heavy duty vehicles, passenger cars and motorcycles;

-          Off-road transport: railways, domestic shipping, certain aircraft movements, and non-road mobile machinery used in agriculture, forestry;

-          Agriculture: manure management, fertiliser application, field-burning of agricultural wastes

-          Waste: incineration, waste-water management.

-          Other (energy-related) covers energy use principally in the services and household sectors

-          Other (Non Energy): Emissions from solvent and other product use.

 

The current LRTAP template Version 2004-1 includes 103 categories.

The following table shows the conversion of NFR sector codes into EEA sector codes:

 EEA Code

EEA classification

Non-GHGs (NFR)

0

National totals

National Total

1

Energy industries

1A1

3

Industry (Energy)

1A2

2

Fugitive emissions

1B

7

Road transport

1A3b

8

Other transport (non-road mobile machinery)

1A3 (excl 1A3b) + sectors mapped to 8 in table below

9

Industry (Processes)

2

4

Agriculture

4 + 5B

5

Waste

6

6

Other (Energy)

1A4a, 1A4b, 1A4b(i), 1A4c(i), 1A5a

10

Other (non-energy)

3 + 7

14

Unallocated

Difference between NT and sum of sectors (1-12)

12

Energy Industries (Power Production 1A1a)

1A1a

Where reported data from countries is incomplete, simple gap-filling techniques are used in order to obtain a consistent time-series (see section on gap-filling).

To obtain emission values for the ozone precursors, the gap-filled emission values are multiplied by tropospheric ozone formation potential factors, de Leeuw (2002). The factors are NOx 1.22, NMVOCs: 1, CO: 0.11 and CH4: 0.014. Results are expressed in NMVOC equivalents (ktonnes).  For the main indicator trend graph, emissions are shown indexed to 1990 values (1990 emission =100). The sectoral shares are the share of the specific sector relative to the sum of all sectors for a given year. The 'unallocated' sector corresponds to the difference between the reported national total and the sum of the reported sectors for a given pollutant/country/year combination. This can be either negative or positive. Inclusion of this additional sector means that the officially-reported national totals do not require adjustment to ensure they are consistent with the sum of the individual sectors reported by countries.

(1) http://reports.eea.europa.eu/EMEPCORINAIR4/en/BNPA_v3.1.pdf

Methodology for gap filling

To allow trend analysis, where countries have not reported data for one or more years, data have been interpolated to derive the emission for the missing year or years. If the reported data is missing either at the beginning or at the end of the period, the emission value is assumed to equal the first (or last) reported emission value. The use of gap-filling may lead to artificial trends, but it is considered unavoidable if a comprehensive and comparable set of emissions data for European countries is required for policy analysis purposes. A list of the gap-filled dataset, plus a spreadsheet containing a record of the gap-filled data will be made available from EEA's dataservice: http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/dataservice/metadetails.asp?id=818

Methodology references

Data specifications

EEA data references

Data sources in latest figures

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

The use of ozone formation potential factors leads to some uncertainty. The factors are assumed to be representative for Europe as a whole; on the local scale uncertainties are larger and other factors are more relevant.  An extensive discussion on the uncertainties in these factors is available in de Leeuw (2002).

Data sets uncertainty

EEA uses data officially submitted by EU Member States and other EEA member countries which follow common guidelines on the calculation and reporting of emissions (EMEP/EEA 2006) for the air pollutants NOx, NMVOC and CO, and IPCC (2006) for the greenhouse gas CH4.

NOx emission estimates in Europe are thought to have an uncertainty of about +/-30%, as the NOx emitted comes both from the fuel burnt and the combustion air and so cannot be estimated accurately from fuel nitrogen alone. EMEP has compared modelled and measured concentrations throughout Europe (EMEP 1998). From these studies differences for individual monitoring stations of up to a factor of two have been found. This is consistent with an inventory of national annual emissions having an uncertainty of +/-30% (there are also uncertainties in the measurements and especially the modelling). Uncertainties in emissions of CO are likely to have a similar magnitude of uncertainty as for NOx. NMVOC emissions data have been verified by EMEP and others by means of comparison between modelled and measured concentration throughout Europe. From these studies total uncertainty ranges have been estimated to about +/-50%. Some main source categories are less uncertain.

CH4 estimates are reasonably reliable as they are based on a few well-known emission sources. The IPCC believes that the uncertainty in CH4 emission estimates from all sources, in Europe, is likely to be about +/-20 %. CH4 emissions from some sources, such as rice fields, are much larger (possibly an order of magnitude), but are a minor emission source in Europe. In 2004, EU Member States reported uncertainties in their estimates of CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation as ranging between 0.5 % (UK) and 2.8 % (Ireland) of the total national GHG emissions (EEA 2004).

Incomplete reporting and resulting intra- and extrapolation may obscure some trends.      

EMEP/EEA (2006). Joint EMEP/CORINAIR Atmospheric Emission Inventory Guidebook (2006), 3rd ed, EEA, Copenhagen. 

IPCC (2006). Revised 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. JT Houghton, LG Meira Filho, B Lim, K Treanton, I Mamaty, Y Bonduki, DJ Griggs and BA Callender (Eds). IPCC/OECD/IEA. UK Meteorological Office, Bracknell.

EMEP (1998). Transboundary Acidifying Air Pollution in Europe, Part 1: Estimated dispersion of acidifying and eutrophying compounds and comparison with observations. EMEP/MSC-W Report 1/98, July 1998.

EEA (2004). European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2002 and Inventory Report 2004, Technical Report No 2/2004. European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.

Rationale uncertainty

This indicator on emissions of ozone precursors is produced annually by EEA and is used regularly in its State of the Environment reporting. The uncertainties related to methodology and data sets are therefore of importance. Any uncertainties involved in the calculation and in the data sets need to be accurately communicated in the assessment, to prevent erroneous messages influencing policy actions or processes.

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

Work description

No major changes to this indicator were made in 2008. Data reported under the LRTAP, National emission ceilings Directive (NECD) and the GHG MM were used. Similarly, EEA-ETC/ACC does not expect major changes to the structure of the indicator will be required for 2009.

Resource needs

Countries should improve the completeness of the time series of their estimates (filling gaps). Further validation and checking is the responsibility of the country and needs especially to lead to improved detailed sectoral time series of emissions. There is also a need for further validation and checking of emission estimates within the framework of LRTAP Convention/EMEP and EEA-ETC/ACC activities.

Status

In progress

Deadline

2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

Work description

Improvment in quality of national data delivered to LRTAP Convention/EMEP.

Resource needs

The Gothenburg Protocol entered into force on 17 May 2005, after ratification by 16 countries early in 2005.

Status

In progress

Deadline

2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

Work description

Improvment in quality of national data delivered to LRTAP Convention/EMEP.

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified

Status

Not started

Deadline

2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

Work description

Improvement of national data delivered under National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD).

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified

Status

In progress

Deadline

2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Martin Adams

Ownership

No owners.

Identification

Indicator code
CSI 002
Specification
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Air pollution Air pollution

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Classification

DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)

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