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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of ozone precursors / Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002) - Assessment published Dec 2008

Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002) - Assessment published Dec 2008

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Agriculture Agriculture

Environment and health Environment and health

Tags:
air emissions | ozone precursors
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 002
 
Contents
 

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

Key messages

  • The aggregated emissions of ground-level ozone precursor pollutants (nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4)) have decreased by 37% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2006.
  • This decrease has been achieved mainly as a result of the introduction of catalytic converters for vehicles and to a lesser extent by a switch from petrol-fuelled cars to more diesel cars. Together these changes have significantly reduced emissions of NOx and CO from the road transport sector, the main source of ozone precursor emissions.
  • The EU-27 is still some way from meeting its target to reduce emissions of two ozone precursors (NOx and NMVOC) for which emission limits exist under the NEC Directive. A number of individual Member States anticipate missing their ceilings for one or either of these two pollutants.

Emissions of ozone precursors

Note: The 'with measures' (WM) projections reported by Member States take into account currently implemented and adopted policies and measures

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution. 2010 NEC Directive projections data: EEA Directive status report 2007 (EEA Technical report No. 9/2008).

Downloads and more info

Change in emissions of ozone precursors (NOx and NMVOC only) compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets

Note: Gothenburg protocol targets are shown for the non-EU countries

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Distance-to-target for EEA member countries

Note: The 'distance to target' results are shown in light yellow (countries need to do more to be on track to meet their ceiling in 2010) and green (countries are on track to meet their ceiling in 2010)

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Aggregated emissions of tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors have reduced by 37% across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2006 (Figure 1).  Emissions of these pollutants are weighted using a factor that reflects their specific ozone formation potential prior to aggregation - see the CSI 002 indicator specification for further details. Within most countries reductions have occurred for the aggregated emissions of the two ozone precursors for which emission limits exist under the NEC Directive and UNECE Gothenburg protocol (NOx and NMVOC) (Figure 2). The largest reductions have occurred in Luxembourg (-84%), Switzerland (-58%) and the Czech Republic (-52%), but the emissions of these two pollutants have increased in 7 countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Romania and Hungary).

Emissions of NOx (51 % of the total aggregated emissions) and NMVOC (36 %) are the most important pollutants that contributed to the formation of tropospheric ozone in 2006. Carbon monoxide and methane contributed 13% and 1%, respectively. However emissions of both these pollutants have been significantly reduced since 1990 - NOx has contributed 38% and NMVOC 40% of the total observed reduction of precursor emissions (Figure 6). This reduction of emissions is mainly due to the introduction of three way catalytic converters for cars and increased penetration of diesel-fuelled vehicles. The introduction of other European legislative measures has also contributed to the reduction, such as the implementation of the Solvent Emissions Directive in industrial processes. Some further reasons for the observed reductions in emissions are provided in the 'Specific assessment' section below.

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) sets for each of the EU-27 Member States ceilings (i.e. limits) for two ozone precursors, NOx and NMVOC, that must be met by 2010 [1]. The reported data shows that as of 2006, slightly more than half of the 27 Member States are not on track towards meeting their combined target for the two ozone precursor pollutants (Figure 3). Similarly, the EU-27 as a whole is also not on track to achieve its aggregated ceiling for these pollutants. On an individual pollutant basis, other EEA analysis [2] indicates that many Member States anticipate that, without implementing additional measures to reduce emissions, they will miss one or either of their respective 2010 NECD ceilings. The 2010 emission ceiling for NOx is the most difficult ceiling for many Member States to meet. Thirteen Member States have reported that they anticipate missing their NOx ceiling (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Five Member States report they anticipate missing their NMVOC ceiling (Denmark, France, Poland, Portugal and Spain).

Several of the non-EU countries also have 2010 emissions ceilings defined under the Gothenburg protocol of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Of these countries, Norway alone has reported emissions that lie above a linear target path to its aggregated NOx and NMVOC ceiling for 2010 - in contrast both Liechtenstein and Switzerland appear on track to meet their respective aggregated Gothenburg ceilings [3].

Further details concerning emissions of the main ozone precursor pollutants may be found in the following indicator fact sheets:

[1] The NECD and Gothenburg protocol also set emission ceilings for two other pollutants ammonia (NH3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) that contribute to acidification and particulate matter formation.
[2] NEC Directive Status report (EEA Technical report No 9/2008).
[3] Lichtenstein has signed, but not yet ratified, the Gothenburg protocol.

Specific policy question: How do different sectors and processes contribute to emissions of ozone precursors?

Emissions by sector of ozone precursors

Note: Due to numerical rounding, values may not add exactly to 100%

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Change in ozone precursors emissions for each sector and pollutant between 1990 and 2006

Note: No data available for Iceland.

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in ozone precursors emissions for each sector and pollutant

Note: 'Contribution to change' plots show the contribution to the total emission change between 1990-2006 made by a specified sector/ pollutant

Data source:

EEA aggregated and gap-filled air emission dataset, based on 2008 officially reported national total and sectoral emissions to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution.

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

In 2006, the most significant sources of ozone precursor pollutants in the EEA-32 region were the 'road transport' (31% of total emissions), and the 'other non-energy' sectors (e.g. solvent use - 13% of total emissions) (Figure 4). Emissions in virtually all sectors have decreased since 1990 (Figure 5).

Within the EEA-32 transport is clearly the dominant source of ozone precursor pollutants. In addition to 'road transport', a further 11% of total emissions are emitted by 'other transport' modes (including aviation, rail and shipping). Since 1990, the vast majority of the reduction of ozone precursor pollutants has occurred in the road transport sector, despite the general increase in activity within this sector over the period. This sector alone has contributed 62% of the total reduction of emissions (Figure 6). The emission reductions have primarily been achieved as a result of fitting three way catalytic converters for petrol-fuelled cars (driven by the legislative 'Euro' standards) coupled with an increased penetration of diesel-fuelled vehicles.

Emissions of ozone precursors from the fuel-combustion related sectors 'energy industries' and 'industry (energy)' have also decreased significantly, together contributing 17% of the total reduction of emissions since 1990. In this instance the reduction has been driven by reduced NOx emissions which have been achieved as a result of measures including the introduction of combustion modification technologies (such as use of low NOx burners), implementation of flue-gas abatement techniques (e.g. NOx scrubbers and selective (SCR) and non-selective (SNCR) catalytic reduction techniques) and fuel-switching from coal to gas (which has led e.g. to increases in energy efficiency and lower rates of NOx emissions).

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.

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 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

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