14. Explanations Of Exceptional Circumstances

Last updated on 10 Dec 2013 11:53 (cf. Authors)

Emission limits for NOx and NMVOC in 2010

The tentative inventories for the year 2010 as provided in early 2012 indicated an excess of the national emission ceilings for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic carbon excluding methane (NMVOC). The German inventory has since been updated and consolidated using the latest and best understanding of emissions inventory methodology. The resulting net changes in emissions for the year 2010 have however been minor.

At the same time, it should be noted that the improvement in inventory methodology has in some cases resulted in an increase of total assessed emissions. This was addressed in the 2012 amendments to the Gothenburg Protocol on the adjustment of emission inventories which may be applied before the amendments coming into force, as set out in EB decisions 2012/3, /4 and /12. These newly adopted rules may therefore change the assessment of non-compliance of individual Parties to the Protocol.

More importantly, the tentative estimates for 2011 indicate a reduction of the NMVOC and NOx emissions as compared to 2010:

  • A first and provisional estimate indicates that unadjusted total NMVOC emissions will be below the ceiling in 2011, as they were in 2009. We are therefore confident that our commitment under the Protocol will be fully complied with in 2011 even without the application of an adjustment of inventories. In addition, also the three year average emission (2009-2011) will be lower than the ceiling.
  • According to the recent estimates, NOx emissions were further reduced in 2011, and are expected to decrease further in the next years. However, the 2011 emission estimates are still above the ceiling if unadjusted. The adjustment of NOx emissions has not been fully implemented yet, and it is uncertain whether it would result in compliance with the Gothenburg Protocol ceiling. However, NOx emissions from agricultural soils, which were not part of the inventories when the Gothenburg Protocol was agreed in 1999, would already reduce the relevant emissions from Germany by more than 100 kilotonnes per year. Further details and data will be provided as soon as EMEP has finalized the methodologies to implement the adjustment procedure.
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