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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of ozone precursors / Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002/APE 008) - Assessment published Oct 2010

Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002/APE 008) - Assessment published Oct 2010

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Agriculture Agriculture

Environment and health Environment and health

Tags:
soer2010 | co | acidification | ozone precursors | ozone | nox | emissions | nitrogen | air emissions | csi | air pollution indicators | methane | air quality | pollution
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 002
  • APE 008
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1990-2010
 
Contents
 

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

Key messages

  • Emissions of all ground-level ozone precursor pollutants have decreased across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2008; nitrogen oxides (NOX) by 34%, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) by 45%, carbon monoxide (CO) by 56% and methane (CH4) by 26%.
  • This decrease has been achieved mainly as a result of the introduction of catalytic converters for vehicles. 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 2010 target to reduce emissions of NOX, one of the two ozone precursors (NOX and NMVOC) for which emission limits exist under the EU's NEC Directive (NECD). Whilst total NMVOC emissions in the EU-27 were below the NECD limit in 2008, a number of individual Member States anticipate missing their ceilings for one or either of these two pollutants.
  • Of the three non-EU countries having emission ceilings set under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), all three countries reported NMVOC emissions in 2008 that were lower than their respective 2010 ceilings. However both Liechtenstein and Norway reported NOx emissions in 2008 that were substantially higher than their respective 2010 ceilings.

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 non-methane volatile organic compounds compared with the 2010 NECD and Gothenburg protocol targets (EEA member countries)

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

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in CO emissions 1990-2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in carbon monoxide (CO) emissions for each country, 1990-2008.

Data source:
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Change in CH4 emissions 1990-2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: The reported change in methane (CH4) emissions for each country, 1990-2008.

Data source:
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Key assessment

Emissions of tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors reduced across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2008 (Figure 1). The different precursor species contribute to ground-level ozone formation to differing extents, in general NOX and NMVOC are considered the most important precursor species.

In most countries, reductions have occurred for both the two ozone precursors for which emission limits exist under the NEC Directive and UNECE Gothenburg protocol (NOX and NMVOC) (Figure 2); detailed breakdowns of sectoral and national emissions of NOX and NMVOC are given in the pollutant specific factsheets for these pollutants, together with assessments of the progress being made by countries towards meeting their respective 2010 emission ceiling limits..

Emissions of CO in 2008 were 30.8 kt in the EEA-32 group of countries compared to 69.8 kt in 1990, a reduction of 56%. Methane and NMVOC emissions also significantly reduced between 1990 and 2008, by 26% and 45% respectively. Emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen from 18.2 kt in 1990 to 12.0 kt in 2008 (a 34% reduction), mainly due to the introduction of three way catalytic converters for cars. The introduction of other European legislative measures has also contributed to the reduction of ozone precursors, such as reductions of NMVOCs as a result of the implementation of the Solvent Emissions Directive in industrial processes. Further reasons for the observed reductions in emissions are provided in the 'Specific assessment' section of this indicator factsheet below.

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

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) and Gothenburg protocol sets, for each of the EU-27 Member States, ceilings (i.e. limits) for the two main ozone precursors, NOX and NMVOC, that must be met by 2010 [1]. The reported data shows that as of 2008, slightly more than half of the 27 Member States are not on track towards meeting their combined target for NOX. Three Member States are not on track to achieve reduction targets for NMVOC (Figure 3). Several of the non-EU countries (ie. Liechtenstein [2], Norway and Switzerland) also have 2010 emissions ceilings defined under the Gothenburg protocol of the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Of these countries, Liechtenstein and Norway have both reported emissions that lie above a linear target path to their 2010 NOX ceilings. However all three countries appear on track to meet their respective NMVOC ceilings.

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

  • Emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOX)
  • Emission trends of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC)

[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] 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?

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 non-methane volatile organic compound emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in non-methane volatile organic compound (NMVOC) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in CO emissions for each sector 1990-2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in carbon monoxide (CO) emissions for each sector between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Change in CH4 emissions for each sector 1990-2008 (EEA member countries)

Note: Percentage change in methane (CH4) emissions for each sector 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

Contribution to total change in non-methane volatile organic compound emissions for each sector (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) emissions between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

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

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

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Sector contributions of ozone precursor emissions (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by different sectors to emissions of the tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Contribution to total change in CH4 emissions for each sector (EEA member countries)

Note: The contribution made by each sector to the total change in methane (CH4) emissions between 1990 and 2008.

Data source:
Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

In 2008, the most significant sources of the ozone precursor pollutants in the EEA-32 region were the 'Agriculture' (45% of CH4 emissions), Solvent and Product Use' (36% of NMVOC emissions), and ‘Road Transport’ sources (40% of NOX and 34% of CO emissions) (Figure 4). Emissions of the various ozone-precursor pollutants have decreased in all sectors since 1990 except in the ‘Waste’ (CO emissions +19%), ‘Solvent and Product Use’ (NOX emissions ×2.7, CO emissions ×110), Non-road transport (CO emissions +8%, NOX emissions + 7%), and ‘Industrial Processes’ sectors (NMVOC emissions +44%) (Figure 5).

Within the EEA-32, the transport sector is clearly the dominant source of ozone precursor pollutants. Combined, emissions from 'Road Transport' and ‘Other Transport’ contribute 41% of CO emissions in the EEA-32, 55% of NOX, and 22% of NMVOC. 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 69% of the total reduction of CO emissions, 43% of NOX reduction and 61% of NMVOC reduction (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).

Emissions of NOX from the fuel-combustion related sectors 'Energy Industries' and 'Industry (Energy)' have also decreased significantly, together contributing 35% of the total reduction of NOX emissions since 1990. In this instance the reduction has 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, which accounts for 19%, 21% and 28% of the reductions in emissions of CO, NOX and NMVOC respectively since 1990. This reflects, 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 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