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You are here: Home / The European environment – state and outlook 2010
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File Air Pollution: harmful particles
The European Commission wants to further reduce air pollution in Europe. Although the situation has improved substantially over the last few decades, there are still significant areas of concern with regard to certain pollutants that are particularly harmful to human health (respiratory diseases) and damaging to the environment (acidification, eutrophication, etc.). The anti-pollution programme that the Commission has launched to that effect is called the “Clean Air for Europe” or CAFE programme.
Located in Environmental topics Air pollution Multimedia
Figure Emission trends of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries, EU-27)
This chart shows past emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and ammonia (NH3) in the EEA-32 and EU-27 group of countries. In addition - for the EU-27 - the aggregated Member State 2010 emission ceilings for the respective pollutants are shown
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Emission trends of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries, EU-27)
This chart shows past emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and ammonia (NH3) in the EEA-32 and EU-27 group of countries. In addition - for the EU-27 - the aggregated Member State 2010 and 2020 emission ceilings for the respective pollutants are shown.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Total emissions of acidifying substances (sulphur, nitrogen) and of nitrogen in the EEA-32 from 1990 to 2006
How to read the graph: in 1990, the total of acidifying emissions was around 1 500 Gg, while for nitrogen fractions it was more than 500 Gg.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Emission trends of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries, EU-27)
This chart shows past emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and ammonia (NH3) in the EEA-32 and EU-27 group of countries. In addition - for the EU-27 - the aggregated Member State 2010 emission ceilings for the respective pollutants are shown
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Indicator Assessment Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (CSI 005) - Assessment published May 2012
Eutrophication The magnitude of the risk of ecosystem eutrophication and its geographical coverage has diminished only slightly over the years. The predictions for 2010 and 2020 indicate that the risk is still widespread over Europe. This is in conflict with the EU's long-term objective of not exceeding critical loads of airborne acidifying and eutrophying substances in sensitive ecosystem areas (National Emission Ceilings Directive, 6th Environmental Action Programme, Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution). Acidification The situation has considerably improved and it is predicted to improve further. The interim environmental objective for 2010 (National Emission Ceilings Directive) will most likely not be met completely. However, the European ecosystem areas where the critical load will be exceeded is predicted to have declined by more than 80 % in 2010 with 1990 as a base year. By 2020, it is expected that the risk of ecosystem acidification will only be an issue at some hot spots, in particular at the border area between the Netherlands and Germany. Ozone (O 3 ) Most vegetation and agricultural crops are exposed to ozone levels exceeding the long-term objective given in the EU Air Quality Directive. A significant fraction is also exposed to levels above the 2010 target value defined in the Directive. Concentrations in 2008 were on the average higher than in 2007. The effect-related accumulated concentrations, addressing exposure of crops to ozone over several summer months, shows large year-to-year variations, there is a non-significance tendency to increase.  
Located in Data and maps Indicators Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone
Figure Contributions by sector for emissions of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries)
The contribution made by different sectors to emissions of acidifying pollutants
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Indicator Assessment Emissions of acidifying substances (CSI 001/APE 007) - Assessment published Jan 2014
Emissions of the acidifying pollutants, nitrogen oxides (NO X ), sulphur oxides (SO X ) and ammonia (NH 3 ), have decreased significantly in most of the individual EEA member countries between 1990 and 2011. Emissions of SO X  have decreased by 74%, NO X  by 44% and NH 3  by 25% since 1990 within the EEA-33. Data reported under the NECD indicates that in 2011 the EU-28 as a whole met its continuing obligation to maintain emissions of NO X , SO X  and NH 3  below 2010 target as specified by the EU’s National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD). However, the EU-15 as a whole and seven individual Member States, all of which are in the EU-15 group, reported emissions in 2011 above their NECD emission ceilings for NO X . Four EU member states reported 2011 NH 3  emissions above the levels of their NECD ceilings, three of which are in the group of fifteen pre-2004 EU member states. Three additional countries which are current EEA Member States have emission ceilings for 2010 under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Both Liechtenstein and Norway reported NO X  and NH 3  emissions in 2011 that were higher than their respective 2010 ceilings.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Emissions of acidifying substances
Indicator Assessment Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002/APE 008) - Assessment published Jun 2014
Emissions of the main ground-level ozone precursor pollutants have decreased across the EEA-33 region between 1990 and 2011; nitrogen oxides (NO X ) by 44%, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) by 57%, carbon monoxide (CO) by 61%, and methane (CH 4 ) by 29%. This decrease has been achieved mainly as a result of the introduction of catalytic converters for vehicles, which has significantly reduced emissions of NO X  and CO from the road transport sector, the main source of ozone precursor emissions. The EU-28 as a whole reported 2011 emissions at 4% below the 2010 NECD ceiling for NO X , one of the two ozone precursors (NO X  and NMVOC) for which emission limits exist under the EU's NEC Directive (NECD). Total NMVOC emissions in the EU-28 were 22% below the 2010 NECD limit in 2011, however, seven of individual Member States did not meet their ceilings for one or both of these two pollutants. Of the three non-EU countries having emission ceilings for 2010 set under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), all reported NMVOC emissions in 2011 that were lower than their respective ceilings, however Liechtenstein and Norway reported 2011 NO X  emissions higher than their ceiling for 2010.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Emissions of ozone precursors
Figure Change in emissions of acidifying substances compared with the 2010 NECD targets (EU-15 and EFTA-3)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
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