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Emissions of transboundary air pollutants in the Netherlands 1990-2010 : Informative Inventory Report 2012

Emissies van luchtverontreinigende stoffen in Nederland, 1990-2010 : Toelichting op de jaarlijkse reeks emissiecijfers


Emissions of air pollutants in the Netherlands have decreased over the 1990-2010 period. This concerns emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), carbon monoxide, ammonia, particulate matter (PM10), heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The downward trend may be attributed in particular to cleaner fuels, cleaner car engines and to emission reductions in the industrial sectors.

This has become apparent from RIVM's explanation of Dutch emission data on transboundary air polluting substances, in the Informative Inventory Report (IIR) 2012. Every year, the RIVM submits emission data to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Commission. The figures consist of emission data on a series of years, from 1990 up to the most recent year. Moreover, this year's submission also includes data on the spatial distribution of emissions, which must be reported on every five years by all European Member States.

New insights into emissions from motorcycles and mopeds:
New methods of calculating emissions, over the years, have led to ever more accurate results. This year, the largest improvement was made in emission calculations for motorcycles and mopeds in the Netherlands. Emissions were calculated using a new model that takes engine capacity and the age of motorcycles and mopeds more into account. This new model has shown that older motorcycles and mopeds produce higher levels of particulate matter (PM10) than estimated before. Levels of nitrogen oxide emissions also proved to be higher than calculated earlier. However, in the Netherlands, emissions from motorcycles and mopeds only represent a small share of total nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions from road transport. In addition, although older mopeds were shown to emit more hydrocarbons than previously estimated, newer mopeds appeared somewhat cleaner. This has resulted in a faster decrease in hydrocarbon emissions than had been previously calculated: from 25 kilotonnes in 1990 to 4 kilotonnes in 2010.

Levels of nitrogen oxide emissions from freight transport higher than expected:
Nitrogen oxide emissions from freight transport in the Netherlands have also been recalculated based on new insights into the emissions from so-called Euro-IV trucks. This term refers to the EU directive on emissions of harmful substances from freight transport. Measurements have shown that nitrogen oxide emission levels from these trucks along motorways were higher than previously estimated. In addition, it was also shown that there are slightly fewer of these Euro-IV trucks on the Dutch roads than previously assumed; since as early as 2006, due to a subsidy regulation, cleaner trucks have been sold that comply with more stringent standards (Euro-V). Despite this fact, in 2010, the level of nitrogen emissions from freight transport was around 5 kilotonnes higher than previously calculated. Furthermore, a more accurate insight was obtained in the share of the various categories of trucks within the Dutch national fleet of trucks.

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