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You are here: Home / News / Progress reducing emissions of some air pollutants

Progress reducing emissions of some air pollutants

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Emissions of sulphur (SOx) have been reduced by almost 70 % since 1990, says a new report recently released by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report, 'Annual European Community LRTAP Convention emission inventory report 1990–2005' also shows that levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), as reported by the EU-27 Member States, are down by 35 %.

SOx and NOx are harmful to human health and the environment. Emissions of both pollutants were approximately 3.5 % lower in 2005 compared to 2004. Emissions reductions have taken place across many sectors including transport, energy, agriculture and waste.

At the EU-27 level, large emission reductions were also recorded for other key air pollutants including carbon monoxide (– 51 %) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (– 42 %).

The inventory report shows emission trends and data availability for the EU-27, and is published annually. Data from Member States are compiled by the EEA on behalf of the European Commission, as part of the Community's legal reporting obligations for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (UNECE LRTAP Convention). This report therefore documents the emissions data officially reported by Member States. Other EEA publications such as the Core set of indicators and the recently released EEA report 'Air Pollution in Europe 1990–2004' provide detailed assessments of why changes in the reported emissions have occurred.

The report does highlight a lack of data from Member States. As a result emissions of some pollutants cannot be calculated. The report recommends ways in which reporting can be improved.

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