Personal tools

Get notifications on new reports and products. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Sign up to receive our reports (print and/or electronic) and quarterly e-newsletter.
Follow us
Twitter icon Twitter
Facebook icon Facebook
YouTube icon YouTube channel
RSS logo RSS Feeds

Write to us Write to us

For the public:

For media and journalists:

Contact EEA staff
Contact the web team

Call us Call us


Phone: (+45) 33 36 71 00
Fax: (+45) 33 36 71 99


Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / News / Emissions of air pollutants down in EU-27

Emissions of air pollutants down in EU-27

The European Community's air pollutant emission inventory report released by the European Environment Agency finds that in 2007, sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions were down by 72 % from 1990 levels. The downward emission trend of three main pollutants which cause ground-level ozone continued in 2007: carbon monoxide (CO) fell by 57 %, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) were down by 47 % and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have dropped 36 %. EU-27 emissions of all four pollutants were lower in 2007 than in 2006.

Emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a seriously health-damaging pollutant, have decreased by 2 % compared to the previous year and by about 12 % since the year 2000. However, reporting of PM emissions from Member States is less complete than for the other main pollutants.

In 2007 the top polluting sources in the EU-27 were fuel combustion in households, passenger cars, heavy duty vehicles, and in power plants.

Other findings of the report include:

  • The residential sector is an important source of several pollutants. Energy use by households (the burning of wood, gas, coal etc) is the most important source of PM2.5 and NMVOC, the second most important source of CO and is a significant source of both SOx and NOx.
  • The road transport sector remains a major source of air pollution in the EU‑27. Heavy duty vehicles are the single most important source of NOx, while passenger cars are among the top 6 polluting sources for CO, NOx, PM2.5 and NMVOC.
  • Power plants producing heat and electricity have reduced emissions significantly since 1990 by improving abatement equipment, switching to cleaner fuels and through improved energy efficiency. However the sector remains a large source of air pollution, responsible for around 60 % of all EU-27 SOx emissions and 20 % of total NOx emissions;
  • Agricultural activities in the EU-27 cause more than 90 % of the EU-27's ammonia (NH3) emissions. Ammonia is a particularly important pollutant with respect to Europe's environment, responsible for eutrophication and acidification of ecosystems.
  • The largest Member States are generally responsible for the most air pollution. France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom contributed the most to EU-27 emissions in 2007.

Reducing emissions of air pollutants brings significant social and economic benefits: fewer premature deaths and lower health care costs, as the toll from pollution-related diseases is also reduced. In addition, as emissions of air pollutant fall, Europe’s environment suffers less harm to crop production and to natural ecosystems, along with less damage to infrastructure and public buildings caused by corrosive pollutants.

Inventory data accessible for experts and the public

The European Environment Agency publishes the data from the report in the air pollutant emissions data viewer, a web-based interface that simplifies access and analysis of the data. The data viewer can show emission trends for the main sectors and allows comparison of emissions between different countries and activities. In addition, the data viewer can produce graphics and key emission estimates.

What is the LRTAP Convention?

Since 1979, the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution has addressed some of the major environmental problems of the member countries of the United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe. The Convention has 51 Parties and aims to limit and, as far as possible, gradually reduce and prevent air pollution including long-range transboundary air pollution.

Each year, the European Environment Agency assists the European Commission by preparing the European Community's inventory report which is reported to the UNECE Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution Convention (LRTAP).

Which air pollutants are covered by the inventory?

Under the LRTAP Convention, Parties (including the European Community) are requested to report emissions data for a number of important air pollutants, including sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), primary particulate matter (PM= and PM2.5), heavy metals (HMs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

EU-27: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

More information

Geographical coverage

[+] Show Map

Document Actions


Sign up now!
Get notifications on new reports and products. Currently we have 33092 subscribers. Frequency: 3-4 emails / month.
Notifications archive
Follow us
Upcoming Events
Quick Event 17th International River Symposium 15 Sep 2014 - 18 Sep 2014 — Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Quick Event 8th European Conference on Pesticides and Related Organic Micropollutants in the Environment &14th Symposium on Chemistry and Fate of Modern Pesticides 18 Sep 2014 - 21 Sep 2014 — Epirus, Greece
Quick Event 29th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2014) 22 Sep 2014 - 26 Sep 2014 — Europaplein, 1078 GZ Amsterdam, Niederlande
Quick Event New Metrics '14 24 Sep 2014 - 26 Sep 2014 — Massachusetts, United States
Quick Event 2nd PEF World Summit 01 Oct 2014 - 02 Oct 2014 — Berlin, Germany
Upcoming events…
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100