Download the latest version of the UNECE inventory (March 2018) (PDF - 11.9 MB)
Download the NFR tables (submission 2018 (2.0 Mo))

The Protocols implemented under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, adopted under the aegis of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) require signatory Parties to regularly report information on air emissions of various substances and from different sources. Under these provisions, France is required to submit inventories of air emissions of these substances.


Presentation of the UNECE inventory

This report supplies emissions data for France concerning all the substances covered by the different Protocols adopted under the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), under the aegis of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and by the EU Directive 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants.


Pollutants covered

The substances covered are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ammonia (NH3), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), heavy metals (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), total suspended particles (TSP), fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5), certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins and furans (PCDD/F), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in their specied form (BaP, BbF, BkF et IndPy), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and black carbon (BC). Signatory Parties to the Convention have to report emissions of these substances annually. Under the NEC Directive, only SO2, NOX, NMVOCs and NH3 emissions must be reported.


Coverage and spatial resolution

The UNECE inventory only covers the geographical area of mainland France.


Main results

  • The energy category (NFR1) often appears as a key source. It is significantly represented:
    • in certain acidification/photochemical substances: NOx, CO, NMVOCs, SOx,
    • in certain heavy metals: Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Ni, Se, Zn
    • And in POPs: PCBs, PCDD-F, HCB.
  • Road transport singles out among the NFR1 category as 1st or 2nd contributor in a lot of pollutants (NOx ; PM2.5 ; PM10 ; BC ; Pb ; As ; Cu ; Zn ; PCDD/F ; PAHs).
  • Electricity production and district heating are highly responsible for a lot of pollutants too (Hg, Cr, Ni, HCB, PCBs, ...)
  • The residential sector generates high emissions due to, inter alia, biomass used as fuel:
    • Particulate matter (from 29% to 42% of national emissions depending on particle size),
    • Black carbon (23% of national emissions),
    • NMVOCs (23% of national emissions),
    • PAHs (60% of national emissions)
    • PCBs (26% of national emissions)
    • Heavy metals (As (19%) and Cr (25%) of national emissions),
    • And CO (45% of national emissions).
  • Major emissions from iron and steel are heavy metals such as As, Cd, Cr, Hg and Pb. However, copper emissions don’t come from combustion or production processes but mainly from wear aspects both in road transport (brake pads) and railways (catenary). These two sectors are together responsible for 90% of total national emissions in 2016.
  • Concerning agriculture, it is the main source, by very far, of ammonia emissions as, with its two sub-sectors (livestock manure management and soils emissions), it accounts for 94% of national emissions in 2016. These NH3 important emissions explains why agriculture is spotlighted in the acid equivalent index table. Furthermore, soils tillage (ploughing) is the first source of TSP emissions.
  • Waste treatment (incineration) affects considerably on POPs emissions such as PCDD-F and HCB (respectively 39% and 21% of national emissions), as well as certain heavy metals, such as mercury and zinc (respectively 12% and 9% of national emissions).


The UNECE report highlights emission trends between the reference year and 2015, and in particular a reduction in emissions of all the pollutants covered:

  • a very sharp decrease (at least 50%) for hexa-chlorobenzene (99.5%), lead (97%), sulphur oxides (96%), chromium (95%), dioxins and furans (94%), nickel (88%), mercury (87%), cadmium (84%), carbon monoxide (79%), zinc (78%), polychloro-biphenyls (77%), non-methane volatile organic compounds (75%), arsenic (67%), fine particles (61% for the PM2.5, 54% for the PM10), specied polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (59%) (BaP 60%, BbF 59%, BkF 58% and IndPy 57%), nitrogen oxides (58%), and black carbon (BC) (58%) ;
  • a sharp decline (between 25 and 50%) for total suspended particles (32%) and selenium (23%) ;
  • a decrease below 25% for copper (6%) and ammonia (4%) ;

Download the latest version of the UNECE inventory (March 2018) (PDF - 11.9 MB)Download the NFR tables (submission 2018 (2.0 Mo))