Nitrogen oxide emissions

In 2019, nitrogen oxide emissions amounted to 160.2 thousand tonnes of nitrogen dioxide in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease by 59% between 2005 and 2030.

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Nitrogen oxide emissions - Belgium

thousand tonnes NO2

 199020002005201020142015201820192019//19902019//2014
Belgium428.8360.3326.9244.7197.2197.9169.4160.2-3.3-4.1
//: Average Growth Rates

IRCEL/CELINE (2021), Belgian submission to the convention LRTAP - March 8, 2021, http://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/be/un/clrtap (conculted on 07/06/2021).

Nitrogen oxide emissions - EU27

million tonnes NO2

 199020002005201020132015201720182018//19902018//2013
EU2714.811.210.58.47.47.06.76.4-2.9-2.9
//: Average Growth Rates

EEA (2021), Air pollutant emissions data viewer (LRTAP Convention), https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/air-pollutant-emissions-data-viewer-3 (consulted on 07/06/2021).

Nitrogen oxide emissions - Belgium and international comparison

kilograms NO2 per capita

 199020002005201020142015201820192019//19902019//2014
Belgium43.035.131.222.417.617.614.813.9-3.8-4.5
EU2735.426.224.119.116.215.814.4------
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on IRCEL/CELINE (2021), Belgian submission to the convention LRTAP - March 11, 2021, http://cdr.eionet.europa.eu/be/un/clrtap, EEA (2021), Air pollutant emissions data viewer (LRTAP Convention), https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/air-pollutant-emissions-data-viewer-3 and on Eurostat (2021), Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level, Population on 1 January [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 07/06/2021).

Nitrogen oxide emissions by region - Belgium

kilograms NO2 per capita

 20002005201020142015201820192019//20002019//2014
Brussels-Capital Region8.68.15.84.54.63.73.3-4.8-6.0
Flemish Region34.830.522.918.118.115.013.8-4.8-5.3
Walloon Region43.439.326.820.920.918.317.8-4.6-3.2
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on Bruxelles environnement (2021), https://environnement.brussels/thematiques/air-climat/qualite-de-lair/comment-evolue-la-qualite-de-lair (consulted on 09/06/2021); Vlaams milieu maatschapij (2021), https://www.vmm.be/data/internationale-rapporteringen (consulted on 09/06/2021); Service public de Wallonie (2021), http://www.awac.be/index.php/thematiques/inventaires-d-emission/methodologies (consulted on 09/06/2021) and on Eurostat (2021), Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level, Population on 1 January [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 02/06/2021).

Definition: Nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) measure the total NOx emissions on Belgian territory, expressed in kilotonnes of nitrogen dioxide (kt NO2). NOx is emitted mainly during the combustion of fossil fuels in engines, boilers and industrial processes. Data are compiled by the Interregional Environment Agency and are available on the website of the European Environment Agency.

To make a comparison between Belgium and the EU27, emissions are calculated in kilograms of emissions per capita.

Goal: Nitrogen oxide emissions must decrease by 59% between 2005 and 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 11.6: “By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.”

Following the revision of the Gothenburg Protocol in 2012 (UNECE, 2012), Directive (EU) 2016/2284 sets emission reduction targets for some atmospheric pollutants (Official Journal of the European Union, 17/12/2016). From 2020 onwards, Belgium's NOx emissions must be 41% lower than in 2005. From 2030 onwards, they must be 59% lower. Emissions related to agriculture (livestock manure and agricultural soil management, i.e. 8% of the total in 2018) are not covered by this Directive.

International comparison: between 1990 and 2018, the decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions in Belgium (-60%) was almost equivalent to that observed in the EU28 (-56%). With regard to average emissions per capita in 2018, NOx emissions amounted to 14.8 kg/capita in Belgium, slightly above the European average of 14.4 kg/capita. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and is below the European average in 2018.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 11.6., which requests to pay “special attention to air quality”.

Sources

  • General

    • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

    • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

    • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).

    • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).
  • Specific

More information is available in French and Dutch.