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Document 52005SC1132

Commission staff working paper - Annex to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “Thematic Strategy on air pollution” {COM(2005) 446 final}

/* SEC/2005/1132 */


Commission staff working paper - Annex to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament “Thematic Strategy on air pollution” {COM(2005) 446 final} /* SEC/2005/1132 */


Brussels, 21.9.2005

SEC(2005) 1132


Annex to the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT “Thematic Strategy on air pollution” {COM(2005) 446 final}



Acidification | Excess acidity from the deposition of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide can lead to the damage of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Nitrification of ammonia in soils also contributes to acidification although it is not an acid gas. |

Aerosol | A dispersion of solid particulate matter or droplets in air. |

Air quality limit value | A legally binding pollutant concentration in air which may be exceeded on a prescribed number of occasions per calendar year (c.f. target value which is a non- legally binding air quality objective). |

Ammonia (NH3) | A gas which is emitted mainly from animal wastes and following the application of fertilisers. |

CAFE baseline | The expected evolution in EU-25 pollutant emissions up to 2020 based upon forecasts of energy use (including climate policies) and macroeconomic parameters. |

Critical level | A pollutant concentration level in air below which significant adverse impacts on vegetation is not expected. |

Critical load | A level of deposition below which significant adverse impacts on ecosystems are not expected |

Eutrophication | Excess nutrient nitrogen (mainly in the form of ammonia or nitrogen oxides) can lead to changes in the composition of ecosystem communities and a loss of biodiversity. |

Ground level ozone (O3) | Ozone formed in the lowermost part of the atmosphere from the reaction of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is a strongly oxidising gas. |

National emission ceiling | The maximum amount of a substance expressed in kilotonnes that may be emitted by a Member State in a particular calendar year. |

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) | The gases nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO is predominantly formed in high temperature combustion processes and can subsequently be converted to NO2 in the atmosphere. |

PM10, PM2.5 | Particulate matter in ambient air with a diameter less than 10 or 2.5 millionths of a metre respectively. |

Secondary pollutant | Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly but are formed by subsequent chemical processes in the atmosphere. Examples include ground level ozone and nitrate and sulphate aerosols. |

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) | Gas formed from the combustion of fuels which contain sulphur. |

Transboundary air pollution | Pollutants emitted in one country are transported in the atmosphere and may contribute to adverse health and environmental impacts in other countries. |

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) | VOCs are volatile carbon-based chemical compounds (such as solvents or components of paints and varnishes) which are emitted to the atmosphere from natural sources or as a result of human activities. |

ANNEX 2 Interaction between pollutants and impacts

The complex interaction between pollutants, impacts and pollution receptors is illustrated below. The figure shows that several pollutants contribute to the same environmental impact and that a broad range of economic sectors are responsible for the emissions of atmospheric pollutants, except for ammonia where agricultural activities are the predominant source.


[pic] |


Acidification: excess acidity from the deposition of NH3, NOx and SO2 can damage freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems and so cause loss of biodiversity. Ammonia contributes to acidification by undergoing nitrification in soils which releases acidity.

Eutrophication : excess nutrient nitrogen (mainly in the form of NH3 or NOx) can change ecosystem balance and cause loss of biodiversity.

Ozone formation : tropospheric ozone is harmful to health and vegetation (including forests and crops) and is formed at ground level from the reaction of NOx and VOCs in the presence of sunlight (c.f. “good” stratospheric ozone in the upper atmosphere which shields us from ultraviolet radiation).

Particulate matter : Consists of primary particles emitted directly to the atmosphere and secondary particles which are formed chemically from NOx, SO2, NH3, and VOCs in the atmosphere. According to the World Health Organization it is not possible to differentiate between primary or secondary particles in terms of their impacts on health.

ANNEX 3 Benefits and Costs of the Strategy

The benefits, costs and health and environmental objectives of the Strategy are summarised in the tables and figure below.

Benefits and costs of the Strategy in 2020 |

Ambit-ion level | Benefits | Costs per annum (€bn) |

Human health | Natural environment |

Life Years Lost (million) from particulate matter | Acute mortality from ozone | Ecosystem forest area exceeded acidification | Ecosystem freshwaters area exceeded acidification | Ecosystem area exceeded eutrophication | Forest area exceeded ozone |

47% | 10% | 74% | 39% | 43% | 15% |