Reporting of emission inventories and projections

Based on Article 10(2) of Directive (EU) 2016/2284, the National Emission reduction Commitments Directive (NEC Directive), Member States are obliged to report national emission inventories each year and national emission projections every two years to the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA makes the data available on the EEA's National Emission Ceilings Directive webpage.

The reporting has to be based on the EMEP/EEA Air Pollutant Emission Inventory Guidebook and accompanied by an informative inventory report. The EMEP/EEA Guidebook is regularly reviewed and updated. The latest 2019 Guidebook is available here.

Review of national emission inventories

The quality of emission inventories is key for effective implementation of Directive (EU)2016/2284 given that the emission reduction commitments laid down in the Directive are expressed as a percentage of the reported total emissions for 2005. To that purpose Article 10(6) of the Directive requires the Commission, assisted by the EEA, to review the national emission inventories annually. The results of the inventory reviews are available for the following years: 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Horizontal reports are available for the following years: 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The guidelines developed for the 2021 review are available here.

Every effort is made to maximise synergies with similar evaluations conducted under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, the so-called 'Stage 3' reviews, however these are two separate processes.

Applications for emission inventory adjustments

Under Article 5(1) of Directive (EU) 2016/2284, Member States can establish adjusted inventories to take account of improved inventory methods updated in accordance with scientific knowledge since the emission reduction obligations were first established. The conditions for making an adjustment are specified in Annex IV Part 4 of the Directive, and the Commission, assisted by the EEA, reviews each adjustment application (Article 5(6)) to verify that it is in accordance with the Directive's requirements. Member States that wish to use this option must notify the Commission of the pollutants and sectors for which adjustments will be requested by 15 February of the reporting year concerned.

Article 21(2) of the Directive (EU) 2016/2284 allowed the Member States to apply Article 5(1) in relation to the ceilings established under the National Emission Ceilings Directive 2001/81/EC until 31 December 2019. The reporting year 2017 was the first opportunity to apply for such adjustments and adjustment applications continued in 2018 and 2019. For each reporting year since 2017, a list of the Member States that have applied, the pollutants and sectors concerned, and the years for which the adjustment is requested can be found here, together with the technical review reports of the applications (available at the end of each reporting year), as well as any Commission decisions refusing applications for adjustment under Article 5(6) of the Directive. It should be noted that the procedure for emission inventory adjustments comes under the legal framework set in Directive 2016/2284 and is fully independent from the fulfilment of any other Member State obligations under EU air legislation; in particular, Member States continue to be bound by the limit and target values laid down in the Ambient Air Quality Directive (AAQD-Directive 2008/50/EC).