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Emission reduction commitments

In Europe, the regional air pollution is regulated by a number of protocols under the CLRTAP (Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution) under the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). Additionally, there is EU legislation that mostly mirrors the obligations under the CLRTAP.

Under the UNECE, the objectives of the original Gothenburg Protocol was to control and reduce the emissions of SO2, NOx, NMVOC and NH3. In contrary to the former protocols the Parties to the Convention are not obligated to comply with certain reduction ratios from a base year. Instead, emission ceilings have been set from the knowledge of critical loads and environmental impact on ecosystems within the geographical area of Europe. The table shows the emission ceilings for Denmark in 2010 together with the emissions in 2010. The same emission ceilings are given in EU directive 2001/81/EC also called the NEC-directive (National Emission Ceilings Directive). The ceilings are valid from 2010 and until they are superseded by the 2020 reduction commitments.

The revised Gothenburg Protocol introduced an adjustment mechanism, so that inventories could continue to evolve, e.g. by introducing new emission sources or updating methodologies. Denmark has applied for adjustments for NMVOC and NH3 and they have been accepted both under the CLRTAP and under the NECD.

Pollutant

SO2

NOx

NMVOC

NH3

Emission ceiling, tonnes

55,000

127,000

85,000

69,000

Emission 2010, tonnes

15,113

149,240

136,574

81,123

Adjusted emission 2010, tonnes

85,963

73,577

Last updated: 24-03-2021  

Denmark is below the ceiling for NMVOC from 2011 and for NOx and NH3 from 2013. 

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In 2012, the Gothenburg Protocol was amended to establish emission reduction commitments for 2020. Furthermore, reduction commitments for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were introduced for the first time. In the amended Gothenburg Protocol, the reduction commitments are given as a percentage reduction compared to the emission level in 2005. The NECD was revised in 2016 (Directive (EU) 2016/2284) and has the same reduction commitments for 2020 as the Gothenburg Protocol. The revised NECD also has reduction commitments for 2030.

The emission reduction commitments according to the Gothenburg Protocol (2020) and NECD (2020 and 2030) are shown in the table below together with the reduction percentages for 2020 (in accordance with the Gothenburg Protocol and the NECD) and 2030 (in accordance with the NECD) recalculated to a “ceiling” value.

The latest emission projections for 2020 and 2030 have also been included in the table below. The projection represent a frozen policy approach, which is labelled a ‘with measures’ (WM) projection.

SO2

NOx

NMVOC

NH3

PM2.5

Emission level 2005*, tonnes

26,266

187,531

106,615

90,136

21,927

Emission level 2019*, tonnes

10,444

79,603

57,859

75,291

13,016

Emission reduction commitment* - 2020, %

35

56

35

24

33

Emission ceiling - 2020**, tonnes

17,114

82,509

72,365

58,630

14,555

Emission reduction commitment* - 2030, %

59

68

37

24

55

Emission ceiling - 2030**, tonnes

10,795

60,007

70,138

58,630

9,776

Projected emissions - 2020 WM, tonnes

10,386

78,677

61,749

68,894

15,761

Projected emissions - 2030 WM, tonnes

9,837

51,086

57,081

68,220

12,550

Projected emission reduction - 2020 WM, %

60

58

42

15

28.9

Projected emission reduction - 2030 WM, %

63

73

46

16

43

 

Last updated: 24-03-2021

* For emission reduction commitments under the NECD, emissions of NOx and NMVOC from manure management and agricultural soils have been excluded. Emissions presented in this table do not include these emissions.

** Calculation of implied emission ceilings are based on the reduction commitment percentages and the 2005 emission level in the latest emission inventory.