Explanation of Key Trends - Nitrogen Oxide

Last updated on 04 Dec 2014 08:38 (cf. Authors)


Within the scope of the UN ECE Göteborg protocol on the reduction of nitrogen oxides emissions, the Federal Republic of Germany was obliged to reduce emissions to the 1987 level of 3,177kt by 1994. However, this value is inconsistent with the time series data after 1990 because, for example, it does not include any emissions from the agricultural sector. But emissions were successfully reduced by 30% to 2,225 kt in this period, exceeding the obligatory requirements of the protocol and also meeting the additional voluntary commitment that was entered into by Germany and 11 other ECE countries (reduction of NOx emissions before 1998 by 30% compared to 1986 levels).
Germany has made a commitment under the multicomponent protocol to minimise emissions, as it has with SO2. By 2010, it will no longer be permissible to exceed a National Emission Ceiling of 1,081kt NOx for Germany as whole.

Main drivers

NOx total emissions show a falling trend from 1990 onwards, with emission reductions of 55,9% between 1990 and 2012 and slightly decreased emissions between 2011 and 2012. The Main Driver for NOx emissions is Fuel Combustion (NFR 1.A) with over 93% of 1990 emissions and a 60% reduction from 1990 to 2012. Half of the 1990 emissions from Fuel Combustion (NFR 1.A) and a similar reduction (-65.7%) between 1990 and 2012 comes from Road Transportation (NFR 1.A.3.b), mainly due to constantly improving fuels and increasingly stricter regulations resulting in technical improvements. The rest of the 1990 emissions mainly comes from Energy Industries (NFR 1.A.1) with a 21% share of 1990 Fuel Combustion (NFR 1.A) emissions and to a lesser extend from Manufacturing Industries and Construction (NFR 1.A.2) with a 11.5% share followed by Other Sectors (NFR 1.A.4) with a share of 7.2%. In those categories, reductions between 1990 and 2012 are around 50%, except for Manufacturing Industries and Construction (NFR 1.A.2) where alongside a similar reduction some emissions were reassigned to the Industrial Processes (NRF 2) starting from the year 2000, leading to lower emissions from the energy sector and a rise in the Industrial processes.

NOx Emissions 1990-2012

Total Emissions (Gg) Trend: latest compared to
1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 1990 last years
2,877 2,172 1,919 1,563 1,554 1,477 1,402 1,303 1,325 1289 1,269 down_green.png -55.9% stagnate_yellow.png

NOx trend by sector

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