European Union Emission Inventory Report 1990–2009, under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)
This report includes information on the formal institutional arrangements underpinning the EU’s emission inventory, the emission trends for the EU Member States, and the the main individual emission sources that contribute to total emissions. Sector group emission trends for key pollutants, information on recalculations and future planned improvements are also included.
The main findings of the report are: Emissions of almost all main air pollutants fell across the EU-27 in 2009, which confirms a long-term trend of decline for most air pollutants. In comparison to the previous year, some pollutants decreased significantly compared to the previous years. Analyses show that the economic recession is an important factor in this development, because the lower demand for energy also led to lower emissions from public power plants. Therefore, emissions from pollutants like SOx, NOx and primary particulate matter (PM) declined significantly. However, air quality can still be quite low, especially in urban areas.
Other main findings are:
- Large proportions of certain pollutants come from so-called ‘diffuse’ sources, which are typically emitted over large areas from often indistinct sources. They include NOx and PM from road transport and households, CO from households, and ammonia (NH3) from agriculture. These emissions can be difficult to abate.
- Emissions of NOx from road transport have decreased by 42 % since 1990, but it remains the most important source of NOx and CO. This reduction is mainly due to the introduction of three‑way catalytic converters in passenger cars and stricter regulation of emissions from heavy goods vehicles.
- NOx emissions from domestic and international aviation have increased significantly since 1990. However, as a result of the recession these emissions fell by 6% between 2008 and 2009.