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Indicator Specification

Industrial pollutant releases to air in Europe

Indicator Specification
  Indicator codes: CSI 055 , INDP 003
Published 16 Jun 2021 Last modified 21 Jun 2021
3 min read
This indicator tracks trends of industrial emissions of selected air pollutants. The indicator includes releases of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), the most significant greenhouse gas, acidifying pollutants (sulphur oxides (SO x ), nitrogen oxides (NO x )), and other pollutants that damage human health and the environment, such as particulate matter (PM 10 ), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and heavy metals (Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg). These trends are presented together with the trend of gross value added (GVA) by industry, as an indicator of the economic contribution of the sector.  The aggregated EU-27 trends feature in Figure 1 while country specific trend changes are offered in Figure 2. The geographical coverage comprises the 27-EU Member States (EU-27) (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden). The temporal coverage is 2010-2019. Data were reported to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)
 

Rationale

Justification for indicator selection

No rationale has been identified for this indicator

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator tracks trends of industrial emissions of selected air pollutants. The indicator includes releases of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most significant greenhouse gas, acidifying pollutants (sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx)), and other pollutants that damage human health and the environment, such as particulate matter (PM10), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and heavy metals (Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg). These trends are presented together with the trend of gross value added (GVA) by industry, as an indicator of the economic contribution of the sector. 

The aggregated EU-27 trends feature in Figure 1 while country specific trend changes are offered in Figure 2.

The geographical coverage comprises the 27-EU Member States (EU-27) (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden).

The temporal coverage is 2010-2019. Data were reported to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).

Units

Emissions — percentage change with reference to 2010

Gross value added — percentage change with reference to 2010

 

Policy context and targets

Context description

Anthropogenic air emissions contribute to a wide range of detrimental effects for the environment and human health. While many human activities contribute to these emissions, industry is a very significant sources. This indicator presents substances where industry contribution is particularly relevant.

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) require industry operators to submit, among other data, values for releases of pollutants to the atmosphere across 91 pollutants.

Air pollution and air quality are regulated through various mechanisms in the EU. Industrial air emissions operate with a dedicated policy, Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions. This EU legislation imposes a case-by-case permit for large industrial operators which contains emission limit values to air. These emissions, when above certain annual load thresholds, are to be reported to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (e-PRTR).

This indicator is useful to capture how the industrial emission policy contributes to a progressive reduction of air releases in Europe. Due to the way the reporting mechanisms are designed, this indicator reflects emissions from large operators and only when annual releases are above the legally established thresholds. In other words, the indicator tracks emissions significant at a European scale and does not cover emissions from smaller operators.

Targets

No target is specified.

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Key policy question

Industrial pollutant releases to air in Europe, aggregated assessment level

Specific policy question

Industrial pollutant releases to air in Europe, disaggregated assessment level

 

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Queries are applied to the Industrial Emissions Database (where the E-PRTR is included) to extract and aggregate emissions reported individually for each operator in Europe to produce figure 1 and 2. Emissions are aggregated at country and European level, indexed to 2010 levels and a trend line is then constructed.

For Fig. 1, the gross added value is indexed to 2010 levels and a trend line constructed.

Gap filling was performed to complete data missing for some countries in the last years of the timeline. Future versions will account to more complete datasets as countries resolve these issues as time passes by.

While E-PRTR contains data since 2007, the earlier years are known as incomplete and of lesser quality. This has led to the indicator showing data as from 2010.

 

References

EC, undated, ‘Industrial policy’ (https://ec.europa.eu/growth/industry/policy_en) accessed 5 October 2020.

EC, 2020a, ‘EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)’ (https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets_en) accessed 30 July 2020.

EC, 2020b, ‘Industrial Emissions Directive’ (https://ec.europa.eu/environment/industry/stationary/ied/legislation.htm) accessed 5 October 2020.

EC, 2020c, ‘Making Europe’s businesses future-ready: A new industrial strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe’ (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_416) accessed 5 October 2020.

EEA, 2019a, ‘National emissions reported to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention)’, European Environment Agency (https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/national-emissions-reported-to-the-convention-on-long-range-transboundary-air-pollution-lrtap-convention-13) accessed 2 August 2019.

EEA, 2019b, ‘The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), Member States reporting under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 166/2006’, European Environment Agency (https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/member-states-reporting-art-7-under-the-european-pollutant-release-and-transfer-register-e-prtr-regulation-18) accessed 5 October 2020.

EU, 2013, Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information at national and Union level relevant to climate change and repealing Decision No 280/2004/EC Text with EEA relevance (OJ L 165, 18.6.2013, p. 13-40).

Methodology for gap filling

No gap filling was conducted.

Methodology references

 

Data specifications

EEA data references

Data sources in latest figures

 

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified.

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Federico Antognazza

Ownership

European Environment Agency (EEA)

Identification

Indicator code
CSI 055
INDP 003
Specification
Version id: 3
Primary theme: Industry Industry

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year

Classification

DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

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