Countries' perspectives on SOER 2015 - Air pollution cross-country comparison

Page Last modified 11 May 2020
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Photo: © Simeon Lazarov/EEA

Countries and regions


Wallonia updated its air and climate policies through the Air-Climate-Energy Plan (PACE, 2014-2022) which will replace the Air-Climate Plan (2008-2012). The PACE project aims to improve air quality, achieve the Walloon reduction targets emissions of greenhouse gases and mitigate the impact of climate change.


Note to Table 1 regarding NOx emissions:

The 2010 emission ceiling (1051 kt for Germany) does not consider NOx emissions from agricultural sources. However, emissions data and projections reported by Germany take NOx emissions from agriculture into account (112 kt in 2011 and 107 kt in 2012). Germany exceeds the NOx ceiling by 12% in 2011 and 11% in 2012 if NOx emissions are excluded from agricultural sources.


Ireland’s air quality is currently among the best in Europe but air quality remains at risk from emissions generated from driving, particularly in the larger urban areas, and from the burning of domestic solid fuel for home heating, particularly in small towns and villages not covered by smoky coal bans.


Air quality monitoring is a legal obligation (Law on environmental protection - Article 50, Law on air protection-Article 23, and Law on hydro-meteorological activity-Article 5). Air quality monitoring should provide data on the level of air pollution, climate change, as well as impacts on human health, materials, ecosystems and vegetation. The data collected serve to take appropriate measures, in order to reduce, minimize and eliminate the air pollution and its impacts.

The existing air quality monitoring network in Kosovo is very modest in terms of the number of monitoring stations, as well as the number of parameters measured in these monitoring stations. In this report, the existing monitoring stations in Kosovo, and parameters measured at these stations are presented. Current air monitoring network does not meet the criteria for a necessary national network, and does not give full information about the state of air quality in the entire territory of Kosovo.

Given this, a preliminary study for the extent of adequate national air quality monitoring network is needed, in order to appropriately cover the entire Kosovo territory, and to be able to more accurately assess the air quality in Kosovo. Monitoring of emissions is made by relevant economical operators, which mostly monitor certain parameters, depending on their activity. The current situation on emissions monitoring also does not meet the requirements, since no polluting operators has not yet installed the system for self-continuous monitoring of emissions.

From the data available to the KEPA, it is estimated that Kosovo air is not of the required quality, and in some localities it is contaminated by manufacturing activities (surroundings of KEC, Ferronikel, Sharrcem, traffic pollution, industrial and urban waste landfills etc.). Mostly, there is evidence for exceedance of allowed values of dust, and dust particles PM10 and PM2.5. Therefore, it is necessary to take measures as soon as possible, to apply appropriate policies and strategies, to improve air quality.


High levels of NOx for both Luxembourg and Austria are the consequences of accounting methods for air emissions, namely emissions are estimated on the basis of fuel sales and not fuel uses by the residents. Luxembourg and Austria are both transit countries where fuels prices are lower than in the neighbouring countries.

In Luxembourg we usually refer to "road fuel sales to non-residents" and do not use the word "fuel tourism" because "fuel tourism" is one of the three components of the "road fuel sales to non-residents" with sales to vehicles in transit (Luxembourg is located on one of the main North-South route for both passengers and freight transport) and with sales to cross-border commuters that represent nowadays around a third of the resident population. However, Luxembourg would still not meet its target on NOx if emissions were calculated on the basis of fuel uses, but by a much lower margin: in 2012 16.6 kt with a target set at 11 kt).


Poland has met all emission limits set for 2010 by the NEC Directive. The most significant decrease of emissions has occurred for SO2. NOx emissions, however slightly decreasing in the last few years, are still quite near under the emission ceiling. Trend of NMVOC and NH3 emissions is stable with only small fluctuations following changes of activities.

The emission reduction targets determined for the year 2020, set under the 2012 revised Gothenburg protocol, are still a major challenge for Poland. Therefore certain measures to reduce emissions are being prepared to implement, e.g. extended control of quality of solid fuels, thermal renovation of buildings or decommissioning of old boilers in industry and households.

Detailed data on the structure of emissions according to sources may be found in the yearly Informative Inventory Report.


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