Air pollution in Europe highly affected by emissions deriving from agriculture and transport

The European Environment Agency (EEA) published a briefing on “NEC Directive reporting status 2017”, which contains information on how Member States are meeting their emission ceilings under the NEC directive. The NEC directive restricts emissions for five key air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Based on the data, 11 Member States have exceeded their respective emission ceilings for one or more pollutants in 2015.
At the EU level, emissions for three pollutants (NMVOCs, SO2, and fine particulate matter PM2.5) are already below the EU’s 2020 emission reduction commitment. Only for NOx a further reduction of 9 % is required by the EU as a whole in order to meet the 2020 commitment. Emissions of NH3 increased across the EU, by 1.7 % from 2014 to 2015, due to higher emissions from the agriculture sector.