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NEC sets obligations to reduce five pollutants
The National Emission Reduction Commitments (NEC) Directive sets obligations to reduce national emissions of five pollutants, namely fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH₃) and sulphur dioxide (SO₂). The Directive targets 2020–2029, with more drastic obligations from 2030 onwards.
Three member states need to step up their game to meet their 2020–2029 commitments: Romania needs to reduce its PM2.5 emissions by around 26% while Poland and Hungary need to reduce their emissions by around 9% and 7% respectively compared to 2021 levels. 10 member states will have to further reduce NH₃ emissions by up to 10% to meet their 2020–2029 national emission reduction commitments. The agriculture sector was responsible for 93% of emissions, and further measures need to be put in place in several member states, such as good practice for housing and feeding livestock, storing manure and spreading it on land, and sustainable fertiliser use. Regarding NOx emissions, only four member states met their emission reduction commitments for 2030 and 23 member states will need to reduce emissions for which transport is the main source. In the case of SO₂ emissions it will be necessary to stop using coal for energy and heat in order to reach the targets. Cyprus needs emission reductions of more than 50% and Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia by up to 30%, while Ireland and Lithuania need to reduce their emissions by up to 10%.