Nitrogen oxide emissions

In 2016, nitrogen oxide emissions amounted to 193,1 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

 19902000200520102011201520162016//19902016//2011
Belgium410.7343.8317.9245.9228.5201.6193.1-2.9-3.3
//: Average Growth Rates

EEA (2018), Air pollutant emissions data viewer (LRTAP Convention), https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/air-pollutant-emissions-data-viewer-1 (consulted on 26/09/2018).

Nitrogen oxide emissions - EU28

million tonnes NO2

 19902000200520102011201520162016//19902016//2011
EU2818.113.212.29.59.27.97.6-3.3-3.5
//: Average Growth Rates

EEA (2018), Air pollutant emissions data viewer (LRTAP Convention), https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/air-pollutant-emissions-data-viewer-1 (consulted on 26/09/2018).

Nitrogen oxide emissions - Belgium and international comparison

kilograms NO2 per capita

 19902000200520102011201520162016//19902016//2011
Belgium41.233.530.322.520.717.917.0-3.3-3.8
EU2838.127.124.618.918.215.615.0-3.5-3.8
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on EEA (2018), Air pollutant emissions data viewer (LRTAP Convention), https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/dashboards/air-pollutant-emissions-data-viewer-1 and on Eurostat (2018), Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level, Population on 1 January [demo_gind], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 26/09/2018).

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 EU28, 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. 7% of the total in 2016) are not covered by this Directive.

International comparison: between 1990 and 2016, the decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions in Belgium (-53%) was slightly lower than that observed in the EU28 (-58%). With regard to average emissions per capita in 2016, NOx emissions amounted to 17.0 kg/capita in Belgium, slightly above the European average of 15.0 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 2016.

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

  • 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 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).