The NEC Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/2284) sets national reduction commitments for five main air pollutants that have a significant negative impact on human health and the environment. These are
- sulphur dioxide (SO2)
- nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC)
- ammonia (NH3)
- fine particulate matter (PM2,5)
Member States are required to monitor and report the emissions of these five pollutants (“emission inventories”). They should also report on a number of other pollutants listed in Annex I of the Directive, for example black carbon.
Member States also have to draw up, adopt and implement national air pollution control programmes. These should show how they will meet their emission reduction commitments for 2020 - 2029, and how they will reach the more ambitious commitments by 2030 and beyond. The reduction commitments for 2020 - 2029 are the same as those made by Member States under the amended Gothenburg Protocol to the UNECE Air Convention.
The first Commission report presenting the state of play on the implementation of the NEC Directive was published in 2020.
The NEC Directive aims to
- move towards achieving levels of air quality that do not cause significant negative impacts on human health and the environment
- support biodiversity and ecosystem protection
- enhance synergies with other EU objectives, such as climate and energy
- Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2018/1522 laying down a common format for national air pollution control programmes under Directive (EU) 2016/2284
- Commission Guidance for the development of National Air Pollution Control Programmes under Directive (EU) 2016/2284
- Commission Notice 2019/C 92/01 on ecosystem monitoring under Article 9 and Annex V of Directive (EU)
National Air Pollution Control Programmes and Projections
Monitoring of ecosystem impacts
Main laws: Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants (NEC Directive)
Entry into force: 31 December 2016
Related topics: Industrial emissions, Emissions from the automotive sector and from non-road mobile machinery, Emissions from boilers and space heaters, Emissions from agriculture
Related strategies: Commission Communication - A Europe that protects: Clean air for all, Zero Pollution Action Plan
Related Commission priorities: European Green Deal