Transport emissions of air pollutants (TERM 003) - Assessment published Apr 2009
Transport (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- TERM 003
Key policy question: Are emissions of acidifying substances, particulates and ozone precursors from transport decreasing?
Key messagesA significant reduction of transport related emission of acidifying substances (34 %), ozone precursors (47 %) and particulate matter (31%) was achieved in the 32 EEA member countries between 1990 and 2006. However, transport still has a considerable share of total emissions of acidifying substances (21 %), ozone precursors (42 %) and particulate matter (34 %). In all three groups NOx is the main pollutant. It comprises 90, 66 and 88 % of total transport-related emissions of acidifying substances, ozone precursors (NMVOC equivalents) and of particulate matter (PM10 equivalents), respectively.
TERM03 Transport emissions of air pollutants
Note: The transport emissions data include all of 'road transport' and 'other transport/mobile sources', less the 'memo' items, which include international aviation (LTO (Landing and Take Off) and cruise) and international marine (international sea traffic - bunkers)
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.
Emissions of acidifying substances from transport decreased by 34.3 % between 1990 and 2006 in the 32 EEA member countries. The introduction of both catalytic converters and reduced sulphur in fuels has contributed substantially to this reduction, offsetting the pressure from increased road traffic in the same period. Decreases between 1990 and 2006 in the different country groupings were: 38 % in EU27, 40 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 24 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 32 % in the 4 EFTA countries; only in the candidate country Turkey emissions increased by 67 %. The proportion of emissions emitted from the different country groupings in 2006 was: 73 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 16 % in 12 new EU Member States, 9 % in the candidate country Turkey and 3 % in the 4 EFTA countries.
In the transport sector, NOx is the most important pollutant contributing to the formation of acidifying substances, comprising 90 % of total transport-related acidifying emissions in the 32 EEA member countries. Road transport contributed 14 % to the total emissions (i.e. from all sectors) of acidifying substances in 2006 for the 32 EEA member countries.
Emissions of ozone precursors from transport decreased by 47 % between 1990 and 2006 in the 32 EEA member countries. Reductions have occurred mainly because of increasing prevalence of catalytic converters for road vehicles and as a result of tightening of EU regulations on new vehicle emissions limits. Decreases were 54 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 29 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 46 % in the 4 EFTA countries. Only in the candidate country Turkey emissions increased by 43 %. The proportion of emissions from the different country groupings in 2006 was: 71 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 17 % in the 12 new EU Member States, 10 % in Turkey and 3 % in the 4 EFTA countries.
Emissions of NOx (66 %) and of NMVOC (20 %) were the most significant pollutants contributing to the formation of tropospheric ozone in 2006 in the 32 EEA member countries. Road transport is the dominant source of ozone precursors and accounted for 31 % of total ozone precursor emissions in 2006 in the 32 EEA member countries.
Emissions of particulate matter from the transport sector decreased by 31 % between 1990 and 2006 in the 32 EEA member countries. They decreased 35 % in the 27 EU Member States. The reduction from transport has been achieved largely as a result of the increasing prevalence of catalytic converters and other improvements to vehicle technology, reducing the emissions of secondary particulate precursors. Decreases were 38 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 19 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 31 % in the 4 EFTA countries; only in candidate country Turkey emissions were increasing by 63 %. The proportion of emissions from the different country groupings in 2006 was: 73 % in 15 old EU Member States, 16 % in the 12 new EU Member States, 10 % in Turkey and 3 % in the 4 EFTA countries.
Emission of NOx (88 %) was the most significant pollutant contributing to atmospheric PM10 in 2006. Road transport is the main source of emissions of fine particulates, contributing 23 % to the 32 EEA member countries' total emission of fine particulates.
National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive Inventory
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
National emissions reported to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention)
provided by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Environment and Human Settlements Division, UNECE)
Air Emission data set for Indicators
provided by European Environment Agency (EEA)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2010 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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