Summary

Page Last modified 20 Apr 2016, 02:32 PM

Summary

Emissions of air pollutants in Europe in 1990

CORINAIR 90 produced an emission inventory for 30 EUROPEAN countries. The results for the 8 pollutants investigated are:

pollutant

emissions for EUROPE
(1000 t)

with nature without nature
SOx as SO2 28 054 27 480
NOx as NO2 18 006 17 956
NMVOC 21 770 17 422
CH4 45 415 35 009
CO 69 712 68 354
CO2 4 764 463 4 469 684
N2O 1 880 1 327
NH3 5 701 5 586

Major contributors

The EU-12 countries accounted for between 44% (SOx) and 69% (NMVOC) of total EUROPEAN emissions, the PHARE-10 countries for between 16% (NMVOC) and 38% (SOx) of total emissions and the EFTA-5 countries for between 2% (SOx) and 11% (NMVOC).

In 1990 the countries making the largest contribution to the total emissions of each pollutant were

  • Germany (former East) SOx
  • United Kingdom NOx
  • France NMVOC, NH3, CO, N2O
  • Germany (former West) CO2
  • Poland CH4.

For all pollutants the differences in national emissions are due to differing population sizes and differences in per capita emissions. Natural emissions of NMVOC, NH3, N2O and CH4 are also significant for some countries.


Emissions per capita

For EUROPE the following per capita emissions (in kg/capita) were estimated for the year 1990:

pollutant per capita emissions
(kg/capita)
SOx 57
NOx 37
NMVOC 36
CH4 72
CO 141
CO2 9 216
N2O 3
NH3 12

Emissions from natural sources (group 11) have been excluded from this per capita calculation since (most of) the natural source groups are not related to human activities.

In comparison with the average per capita emissions for EUROPE, per capita emissions of SOx, NOx, N2O, CO2 and NH3 were lower in the EFTA-5 countries (between 72% for SOx and 17% for NH3). Per capita emissions of NMVOC were lowest in the PHARE-10 group of countries (31%), and the EU-12 countries had the lowest per capita emissions of CO (3% below the average for EUROPE).

In 1990 the countries with the largest and smallest per capita emissions for the different pollutants were

  largest smallest
SOx Germany (former East) Switzerland
NOx Czech Republic Hungary
NMVOC Norway Malta
CH4 Ireland Portugal
CO Luxembourg Slovenia
CO2 Luxembourg Portugal
N2O Ireland Malta
NH3 Greece Hungary

The smallest and largest per capita emissions differed between a factor of between 37 (SOx) and 4 (NOx). Special reports for each pollutant to be published later in 1995 will analyse these (large) differences and examine whether they are due to differences in emission factors or differences in activities. These reports will also explain differences in emission factors.


Emissions per km2

For EUROPE the following emissions (in kg per km2) were estimated for the year 1990:

 

pollutant emissions (kg/km2)
SOx 5 931
NOx 3 807
NMVOC 4 603
CH4 9 602
CO 14 739
CO2 1 007 406
N2O 397
NH3 1 205

In comparison to the average levels estimated for EUROPE emissions per km2 of all pollutants were smallest in the EFTA-5 countries (between 93% for SOx and 58% for NMVOC). Emissions per km2 were largest in the EU-12 group of countries (between plus 42% for NOx and 25% for CH4) with the exception of SOx, for which levels were highest for the PHARE-10 group of countries (69% above the EUROPEAN average).

In 1990 the countries with the largest and smallest emissions per km2 for the pollutants investigated were

  largest smallest
SOx Germany (former East) Norway
NOX Malta Norway
NMVOC Belgium (Flemish region) Norway
CH4 Greece Norway
CO Malta Finland
CO2 Malta Norway
N2O Greece Norway
NH3 Malta Norway

The smallest and the largest emissions per km2 differed by a factor of between 243 (SOx) and 20 (NMVOC). In general the differences between the emissions per km2 are much larger than the differences in the emissions per capita. It is obvious that the predominant reason for the low emissions per km2 in the Scandinavian countries is their low population density.

Special reports to be published later in 1995 will analyse these (large) differences in more detail.


Largest contributing source groups

Emissions are split into the following source groups in this report:

group group name
1 Public power, cogeneration and district heating
2 Commercial, institutional and residential combustion
3 Industrial combustion
4 Production processes
5 Extraction and distribution of fossil fuels
6 Solvent use
7 Road transport
8 Other mobile sources and machinery
9 Waste treatment and disposal
10 Agriculture
11 Nature

The following source groups made the largest contribution to total emissions in EUROPE in 1990:

 

pollutant group contribution (%)
SOx 1 54
NOx 7 44
NMVOC 7 31
NH3 10 92
CO 7 56
CH4 10 33
N2O 10 39
CO2 1 28

For each pollutant the table also shows the percentage contribution of the source group to total emissions. The only pollutant where a single source group (agriculture) dominates emissions almost exclusively is NH3. However, in the case of CO and SOx, more than 50% of the total emissions can be attributed to one source group - road transport for CO, and public power, cogeneration and district heating for SOx.

The next table shows the number of countries in which a source group was the largest contributor to emissions of a pollutant. The table also gives the range of the source groups contribution in all countries.

pollutant group number of countries range of contribution (%)
SOx 1 19 79 - 0
  3 8 87 - 3
  4 2 57 - 0
  2 1 33 - 2
  8 1 49 - 0
NOx 7 20 68 - 9
  8 5 50 - 1
  1 4 42 - 0.4
  3 2 47 - 0.4
NMVOC 7 14 59 - 10
  11 10 68 - 0
  6 4 47 - 1
  5 1 41 - 0
  10 1 40 - 0
CH4 10 15 76 - 7
  11 6 83 - 0
  5 6 56 - 0
  9 3 80 - 0
CO 7 23 91 - 14
  2 4 48 - 0.4
  3 2 57 - 0
  9 1 42 - 0
CO2 1 18 65 - 1
  3 9 58 - 2
  2 2 39 - 2
  11 1 50 - 0
N2O 10 20 88 - 6
  11 6 88 - 0
  4 4 53 - 0
NH3 10 30 100 - 60

This overview shows that for all pollutants with the exception of NH3 the individual source groups may contribute very differently to emissions in different countries.

However, it is evident already from this overview that (with the possible exception of NH3), strategies for reducing emissions of pollutants in EUROPEAN countries need solutions which are specific to individual countries, as well as common elements.

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