Informative Inventory Report 2021
Emissions of transboundary air pollutants in the Netherlands 1990-2019

19-04-2021 | Rapport

The 2021 Informative Inventory Report (IIR) by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) describes the Dutch emission data on transboundary air pollutants for the 1990–2019 period. The report contains information on the observed trends in emissions, an assessment of the main emission sources and the uncertainty related to their emission levels, the methods and data sources used, and the emission factors applied. For this report, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency contributed to the calculations and reporting on transport emissions in the Netherlands.

Dutch emission trends

The report describes Dutch emission trends and levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), heavy metals, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), over the 1990–2019 period. For almost all these substances (except NH3), emission levels decreased significantly, since 1990. This can be attributed, in particular, to cleaner fuels, cleaner car engines and emission reductions in industry.

Decrease in ammonia emissions; entire time series changed

Ammonia emissions in 2019 decreased by five per cent, compared to 2018. This reduction can be attributed to a decrease in the numbers of cattle, pigs and laying hens and increase in the use of low-emission animal housing. At 123 kilotonnes (kt) in 2019, ammonia emissions were well below the maximum set by the European Union and the UNECE under the Gothenburg Protocol (both 128 kt).

Emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds decreased by two per cent in 2019, compared to 2018. This reduction was mainly the result of a decrease in livestock. At 238 kt in 2019, emission levels exceeded the maximum set by the European Union (185 kt) and the UNECE under the Gothenburg Protocol (191 kt).

Both nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions decreased by 13.6 and 2.1 kt, respectively. For nitrogen oxide emissions, this was mainly due to a decrease in road traffic emissions as a result of EU regulations and in coal used for energy purposes. The decrease in sulphur oxide emissions was mainly due to a decrease in coal used for energy purposes.

The Informative Inventory Report 2021 is a publication by the RIVM, in collaboration with partner institutes, which analyses and reports on emission data — an annual legal obligation for EU Member States.