The Revision of the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive

In its 2005 Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, the European Commission suggested a revision of the National Emission Ceilings directive as one means for moving toward the environmental interim targets 

The revision of the National Emission Ceilings Directive 2001/81/EC (NECD) is part of the implementation of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution (see Commission Website). Inter alia, the process should account for new scientific and technical work and new Community legislation for specific source categories, like Euro 5/6, EURO VI, the revision of the IPPC-directive. In particular, the decision of the European Council to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 20% and to have 20% renewables by 2020 has significant impacts on the emissions of air pollutants.

After a series of analyses (see below), the European Commission concluded in 2010 that the new legislation that has been agreed in the last years, combined with the lower energy use as a consequence of the EU Energy and Climate package, will achieve most of the TSAP environmental targets in 2020. Thus, it has been agreed to revise the NEC directive in the context of the forthcoming review of EU air pollution legislation. 

IIASA contribution

The EC4MACS toolbox has been used for numerous studies to prepare for the revision of the NEC directive: 

  • July 2011. NEC Scenario Analysis Report #8 updates the emission scenarios to reach environmental objectives of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution based on the updated national and Primes scenarios used in the negotiations of the Gothenburg Protocol under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. Download report.
  • August 2010. NEC Scenario Analysis Report #7 explored how national emission ceilings could look that meet the environmental targets of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, taking into account the most recent policy decisions. Download report.
  • June 2008. NEC Report #6 analyzes a range of scenarios that meet the environmental objectives of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution for energy projections that are compatible with the Climate and Energy Package. (Download report and underlying data)
  • June 2007: NEC Scenario Analysis Report #5: Cost-effective Emission Reductions to meet the Environmental Targets of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution under Different Greenhouse Gas Constraints. Download report. IIASA updated the national activity projections with recent information received from Member States and compared them with illustrative projections that explore the potential impacts of a more ambitious climate policy. The reports demonstrated that future air pollution will be strongly influenced by decisions on climate policy, and that cost-optimized emission ceilings will crucially depend on the exact implementation of climate measures.
  • NEC Scenario Analysis Report #4: Updated Baseline Projections for the Revision of the Emission Ceilings Directive of the European UnionDownload report. Input data of the GAINS model have been reviewed by stakeholders from Member States and industry in an extensive series of bilateral consultations with IIASA. A scientific review of the GAINS model took place in 2007. Following further comments from stakeholders, in March 2007 a third round of model analyses explored the translation of the environmental objectives given in the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution into quantitative targets for the NEC analysis.
  • March 2007: NEC Scenario Analysis Report #3Cost-optimized reductions of air pollutant emissions in the EU Member States to meet the environmental targets of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. Download report. 
  • December 2006: NEC Scenario Analysis Report #2Emission control scenarios that meet the environmental objectives of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. December 2006. Download report A first round of optimization analyses explored emission control scenarios that meet the environmental objectives of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution.
  • September 2006: NEC Scenario Analysis Report #1:Baseline scenarios for the revision of the NEC Emission Ceilings DirectiveDownload reportThe GAINS model has been applied to develop the NEC baseline projections for future emissions and air quality impacts, as they are likely to emerge as a consequence of current economic trends and the implementation of already agreed air quality legislation. Three baseline projections have been presented to the stakeholders in September 2006.


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Last edited: 13 June 2014

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