Transport emissions of air pollutants (TERM 003) - Assessment published Sep 2010
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?
A significant reduction of transport related emission of acidifying substances (34 % ), ozone precursors (48 %) and particulate matter (30%) was achieved in the 32 EEA member countries between 1990 and 2007. In all three groups NOx is the main pollutant. It comprises 89, 67 and 88 % of total transport-related emissions of acidifying substances, ozone precursors (NMVOC equivalents) and of particulate matter (PM10 equivalents), respectively.
Transport emissions of regulated air pollutants in EEA member countries
Note: Transport emissions of regulated air pollutants in EEA member countries. 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, 2009. NEC Directive status report 2008. Reporting by the Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants. European Environment Agency, Technical report No 8/2009. Available at: www.eea.europa.eu/publications/nec-directive-status-report-2008 [Accessed 10 March 2010].
Emissions of acidifying substances from transport decreased by 34 % between 1990 and 2007 in the 32 EEA member countries (Figure 1). 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 2007 in the different country groupings were: 37 % in EU-27, 40 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 17 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 32 % in the 4 EFTA countries; only in the candidate country Turkey emissions increased by 82 %. The proportion of emissions emitted from the different country groupings in 2007 was: 74 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 16 % in 12 new EU Member States, 7 % 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 89 % of total transport-related acidifying emissions in the 32 EEA member countries. Road transport contributed 13 % 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 48 % between 1990 and 2007 in the 32 EEA member countries (Figure 1). 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 56 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 17 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 48 % in the 4 EFTA countries. Only in the candidate country Turkey emissions increased by 50 %. The proportion of emissions from the different country groupings in 2007 was: 71 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 17 % in the 12 new EU Member States, 9 % in Turkey and 3 % in the 4 EFTA countries.
Emissions of NOx (67 %) and of NMVOC (20 %) were the most significant pollutants contributing to the formation of tropospheric ozone in 2007 in the 32 EEA member countries. Road transport is the dominant source of ozone precursors and accounted for 28 % of total ozone precursor emissions in 2007 in the 32 EEA member countries.
Emissions of particulate matter from the transport sector decreased by 30 % between 1990 and 2007 in the 32 EEA member countries (Figure 1). They decreased 34 % 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 37 % in the 15 old EU Member States, 11 % in the 12 new EU Member States and 31 % in the 4 EFTA countries; only in candidate country Turkey emissions were increasing by 75 %. The proportion of emissions from the different country groupings in 2007 was: 74 % in 15 old EU Member States, 16 % in the 12 new EU Member States, 7 % in Turkey and 3 % in the 4 EFTA countries.
Emission of NOx (88 %) was the most significant pollutant contributing to atmospheric PM10 in 2007. Road transport is the main source of emissions of fine particulates, contributing 21 % 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 Plan2009 2.10.2 (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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