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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors

Emissions of primary particles and secondary particulate matter precursors

Contents
 

Justification for indicator selection

In recent years scientific evidence has been strengthened by many epidemiological studies that indicate there is an association between long and short-term exposure to fine particulate matter and various serious health impacts. Fine particles have adverse effects on human health and can be responsible for and/or contribute to a number of respiratory problems. Fine particles in this context refer to the sum of primary PM10 and the weighted emissions of secondary PM10 precursors. Primary PM10 refers to fine particles (defined as having diameter of 10 mm or less) emitted directly to the atmosphere. Secondary PM10 precursors are pollutants that are partly transformed into particles by photo-chemical reactions in the atmosphere. A large fraction of the urban population is exposed to levels of fine particulate matter in excess of limit values set for the protection of human health. There have been a number of recent policy initiatives that aim to control particulate concentrations and thus protect human health.

Scientific references:

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator tracks trends in emissions of primary particulate matter less than 10 mm (PM10) and secondary precursors, aggregated according to the particulate formation potential of each precursor considered [1].

The indicator also provides information on changes in emissions from the main source sectors.

 

[1] de Leeuw, (2002), A set of emission indicators for long-range transboundary air pollution, Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 5, Issue 2, April 2002, Pages 135-145. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VP6-44HYMJ7-1/1/d6e469ff7969874250c6d0f656a8c76b) (supported by the European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change, under contract to the European Environment Agency)

Units

ktonnes (particulate formation potential)

Policy context and targets

Context description

There are no specific EU emission targets set for primary PM10, as with respect to particulate emissions, measures are currently focused on controlling emissions of the secondary PM10 precursors. However, there are several Directives and Protocols that affect the emissions of primary PM10, including air quality standards for PM10 in the First Daughter Directive to the Framework Directive on Ambient Air Quality and emission standards for specific mobile and stationary sources for primary PM10 and secondary PM10 precursor emissions.

 

For the particulate precursor species, emission ceiling targets for NOx, SO2 and NH3 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].

 

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

 

NECD. Directive 2001/81/EC, on National Emission Ceilings (NECD) for certain atmospheric pollutants.

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.

Targets

There are no specific EU emission targets for primary PM10. However, emissions of the precursors NOx, SOx and NH3 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: Percentage reduction required by 2010 from 1990 levels by country, for emissions of the secondary particulate precursors NOx, SOx and NH3 (emission targets weighted by particulate formation potential).

Country group

Country

1990 -2010

NECD  Targets 1990 -2010

EU-15

Austria

-6%

-43%

EU-15

Belgium

-36%

-58%

EU-15

Denmark

-40%

-56%

EU-15

Finland

-42%

-47%

EU-15

France

-35%

-50%

EU-15

Germany

-71%

-74%

EU-15

Greece

0%

10%

EU-15

Ireland

-22%

-45%

EU-15

Italy

-46%

-53%

EU-15

Luxembourg

-46%

-50%

EU-15

Netherlands

-44%

-55%

EU-15

Portugal

3%

-15%

EU-15

Spain

-4%

-44%

EU-15

Sweden

-33%

-45%

EU-15

United Kingdom

-58%

-68%

 

EU15

-46%

 

EFTA-4

Iceland

0%

 

EFTA-4

Liechtenstein

-38%

 

EFTA-4

Norway

-14%

 

EFTA-4

Bulgaria

-53%

-51%

NewEU-12

Cyprus

18%

33%

NewEU-12

Czech Republic

-73%

-72%

NewEU-12

Estonia

-61%

-45%

NewEU-12

Hungary

-58%

-40%

NewEU-12

Latvia

-60%

-4%

NewEU-12

Lithuania

-65%

-27%

NewEU-12

Malta

-27%

-52%

NewEU-12

Poland

-46%

-43%

NewEU-12

Romania

-44%

-26%

NewEU-12

Slovakia

-65%

-62%

NewEU-12

Slovenia

-49%

-62%

NewEU-12

NewEU12

-54%

 

 

Croatia

-40%

 

CC3

FYR of Macedonia

365%

 

CC3

Turkey

15%

 

CC3

Austria

-6%

-43%

* Aggregated target for those New EU-12 Member States that have specified targets

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 primary particulate matter (PM10) and secondary particulate matter precursors?

Specific policy question

How do different sectors and processes contribute to emissions of PM10 and their precursors?

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

The dataset compiled by EEA/ETC-ACC for this indicator is from national total and sectoral emissions of PM10, NOx, SO2 and NH3 officially reported to UNECE/EMEP Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution (LRTAP Convention).

 

Emissions data reported to the LRTAP Convention can be submitted in 3 different emission categories, SNAP, draft NFR or NFR. 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/. 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 following section). To obtain emission values for the particulate precursors, the gap-filled emission values are multiplied by particulate formation potentials factors, de Leeuw (2002). The factors are NOx: 0.88, SO2: 0.54 and NH3: 0.64. Results are expressed in PM10 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. It 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

Where PM10 data was not reported by countries to UNECE/EMEP, emission estimates for 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005 were obtained from the RAINS PM10 module, using the NEC_NAT_CLEV4 (NEC04) baseline scenario [1].

Where countries have not reported data for years apart from 1990, 1995, 2000 or 2005 data has been interpolated to derive annual emissions 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 value. It is recognised that 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

[1] http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web-apps/apd/gains/EU/index.login

Methodology references

Data specifications

EEA data references

Data sources in latest figures

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

The use of particulate formation factors leads to some uncertainty. The factors are assumed to be representative for Europe as a whole; on the local scale different factors might be estimated. 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 [1]) for the pollutants PM10, NOx, NH3 and SO2.

Sulphur dioxide emission estimates in Europe are thought to have an uncertainty of about +/-10% as the sulphur emitted comes from the fuel burnt and therefore can be accurately estimated.  However, because of the need for interpolation to account for missing data the complete dataset used here will have higher uncertainty. EMEP has compared modelled and measured concentrations throughout Europe (EMEP 1998) [2]. From these studies differences in the annual averages have been estimated in the order of +/- 30% consistent with an inventory uncertainty of +/-10% (there are also uncertainties in the measurements and especially the modelling).

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).

The primary PM10 data is likely to be very uncertain.

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



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

[2] 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.

Rationale uncertainty

This indicator on emissions of particles 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.

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

Each country should report Primary PM10 on an annual basis. Presently a number of EEA member countries do not report emissions of PM10 as required under LRTAP Convention. Bodies such as the UNECE TFEIP/EEA could investigate the reasons for the non-reporting e.g. infrastructure or resource constraints within countries, and provide assistance to help overcome such barriers. Countries should improve the completeness of the time series of their estimates (filling gaps). Further validation and checking is a national responsibility and is needed especially to produce improved detailed sectoral time series of emissions. There is also a need for further validation and checking within the framework of LRTAP Convention/EMEP and EEA/ETC-ACC activities. The use of aerosol formation factors needs to be given wider recognition and acceptance.

Status

In progress

Deadline

2008/02/15 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

2007/12/31 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

2007/12/31 00:00:00 GMT+1

Long term work

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

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Martin Adams

Ownership

No owners.

Identification

Indicator code
CSI 003
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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