Air emissions (source: EEA)

Data on greenhouse gas emissions are officially reported under the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC). Data on air pollutants are officially reported under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) to the EMEP Programme (Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air pollutants in Europe).

The European Environment Agency (EEA) collects national inventories for greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and compiles the EU aggregates. Eurostat's database republishes the most relevant data from these inventories.

Note: There are two internationally established approaches to reporting air emissions (emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants):

  1. The above mentioned national inventories for greenhouse gases and other air pollutants compiled and published by the European Environment Agency (EEA);
  2. Air emissions accounts (AEA) produced by Eurostat under Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts.

The main differences between the two are:

National inventories for greenhouse gases and other air pollutants
(territory principle)

Air emissions accounts
(residence principle)

Emissions are assigned to the country where the emission takes place.

Emissions are assigned to the country where the economic operator causing the emission is resident.

Emissions are assigned to processes classified according to their technical nature (e.g. combustion in power plants, solvent use).

Emissions are classified by economic activity, following the NACE classification of the system of national accounts.

Emissions from international navigation and aviation are assigned to the countries where the associated fuel is bunkered, irrespective of the operator's place of residence.

Emissions from international navigation and aviation are assigned to the countries where the operator of the ship/aircraft is resident, regardless of where the emission takes place.

National and EU totals differ between the two approaches, as different boundaries apply.

An overview of the complementary emission data sets produced by all EU organisations can be found in the EEA's briefing.