NEC Directive status report 2011


Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

'The aim [of the National Emission Ceilings Directive] is to limit emissions of acidifying and eutrophying pollutants and ozone precursors in order to improve the protection in the Community of the environment and human health... by establishing national emission ceilings…'

Directive 2001/81/EC, the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) (EC, 2001) highlights the importance of reporting air pollutant emission data for assessing progress in reducing air pollution in the European Union region and for ascertaining the compliance of the Member States with their commitments.

This report provides an overview of emission data submitted by Member States under the NECD. It also presents a comparison of the emission ceilings of nitrogen oxides (NOX), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) (4), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and ammonia (NH3) emissions and the reported preliminary emissions for 2010.

Throughout this report, the term 'European Union' refers to the 27 Member States as of 31 December 2011: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

1.1 Reporting obligations under the NECD

Articles 2, 6, 7 and 8 of the NECD set forth the requirements for the EU 27 Member States concerning national inventories, projections and programmes. Member States shall accordingly prepare and annually update national total emissions estimates and emission projections for 2010 and beyond for the pollutants NOX, NMVOC, SO2, and NH3. In addition, by 31 December each year, the Member States shall report to the European Commission and the EEA these national emission inventories and emission projections; final emission data should be submitted for the previous year but one, as well as provisional emission data for the previous year. Anticipated significant changes in the geographical distribution of national emissions shall also be indicated. In this year's report, 2010 preliminary emission data replace emission projections for 2010. Should Member States' projections differ from their 2010 preliminary emission data, these projections are not further analysed. Member States were asked to confirm that 2010 preliminary emission data are taken as their projections for 2010.

Member States were obliged to report their updated national programmes for progressive reduction of national emissions of NOX, NMVOC, SO2, and NH3 to the European Commission by 2006. The reported national programmes should have included information on policies (adopted and envisaged) and quantified estimates of the effect of these policies and measures on emissions of those pollutants in 2010. A detailed evaluation of the reported NECD programmes was performed in 2007 for the European Commission. It analysed projections and programmes submitted by the Member States and the measures they planned to implement (AEA Technology, 2007).

To help ensure that information on emissions reported by Member States is consistent and harmonised, the NECD further states that the Member States shall establish emission inventories using the methodologies agreed upon by the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). It also requests (in Annex III to the NECD) that, in preparing these inventories and projections, Member States use the latest version of the EMEP/Corinair emission inventory guidebook, since renamed the EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook (EMEP/EEA 2009).

It is considered good practice that, in preparing emission inventories and projections under the NECD, Member States apply the principles outlined in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) guidelines for reporting emission data under the LRTAP Convention (UNECE, 2009). The historic and projected emission data presented must be 'transparent, consistent, comparable, complete and accurate'.

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