Emissions of National Emission Ceiling (NEC) substances, 1990-2013

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Emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, particulate matter and NMVOCs have declined considerably since 1990. With the exception of ammonia all emissions in 2012 were below the European emission ceiling.

Considerable decrease in emissions of acidifying substances, NMVOCs and particulate matter

There was a significant decrease in emissions of the acidifying substances ammonia (NH3), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) between 1990 and 2000. Emissions of particulate matter (PM10) and volatile organic compounds (non-methane VOCs) also declined considerably in this period.
Emissions of most substances decreased further after 2000, although less markedly than during the previous period. The exception is NOX, emissions of which decreased at the same rate as during the previous period. SO2 emissions decreased significantly after 2007. The following sections detail the trend for each pollutant.

Nitrogen oxide emissions decreased by 58?% after 1990; below 2010 emission ceiling

Total emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) were lower in 2013 than in 2012, at 240 ktons. This is below the 2010 emission ceiling of 260 kilotons. This decrease was mainly due to a decline in emissions from traffic. Reduced emissions from traffic were achieved through EU emission standards for new cars and lorries and less traffic.

Sulphur dioxide emissions decreased by 84%; well below NEC

Emissions of SO2 have decreased considerably since 2007, to about 30 kilotons in 2013. This is well below the NEC for SO2: 50 kilotons from 2010. The lower SO2 emissions between 2008 and 2013 were mainly due to the change made from oil-powered to gas-powered refineries, as well as the further tightening of regulations regarding the maximum sulphur content of red diesel, used in inland shipping, fisheries and mobile machinery.
The lower emissions between 2013 and 2012 were due to less flaring at refineries and to see the industry there was a decline of more than 1 kiloton by lower production.
This was offset by an increase in emissions at power plants by more than 1 kiloton by using more coal.

Emissions of volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) well below emission ceiling

NMVOC emissions have declined by 69% since 1990, to about 150 kilotons in 2013. This is well below the NEC for NMVOCs: 185 kilotons from 2010.

Particulate matter (PM10) emissions decreased by 62% after 1990

Emissions of particulate matter (PM10) decreased by about 62% after 1990, from about 70 kilotons in 1990 to about 27 kilotons in 2013. Particulate matter emissions are not included in the current NEC directive.

New insight into emissions data

For a comprehensive overview of all the changes, please visit the website of the Pollutant Release & Transfer Register: www.emissieregistratie.nl.


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Archive of this indicator

Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Emissions of National Emission Ceiling (NEC) substances, 1990-2013 (indicator 0183, version 21,

) www.clo.nl. Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.