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New Emissions Control Commitments

The Spanish Government has approved Royal Decree 818/2018, of 6 July, on Measures for the Reduction of National Emissions of Certain Atmospheric Pollutants, effective as of 8 July 2018.

The purpose of this Royal Decree is to incorporate into Spanish law the provisions on the reduction of polluting emissions contained in Directive 2016/2284 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016.

To this end, the Royal Decree sets targets for the reduction of anthropogenic atmospheric emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH3) and fine particles (PM2.5). It also regulates the preparation, adoption and implementation by the Kingdom of Spain of a national program for the control of atmospheric pollution, the aim of which is to comply with the commitments to reduce emissions and contribute to the achievement of the air quality objectives established in European legislation.

Both the repealed Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Council and Parliament (EDL 2001/45637) of 23 October 2001 and Directive 2016/2284 of the Council and European Parliament of 14 December of 14 December, which is now being transposed, exclude the Canary Islands from its scope on geographical grounds. For this reason, emissions from the Canary Islands are not included in the reduction commitments established for the Kingdom of Spain. This is not the case, however, with the national air pollution control program, which covers the entire national territory.

The Royal Decree consists of a Recital part and 13 articles, structured in five chapters, two additional provisions, four final provisions and four annexes.

PURPOSE AND OBJECT.

The purpose of this new Royal Decree is to establish the necessary measures to achieve levels of air quality that do not have significant negative effects on human health and the environment.

Its main purposes are

(a) Establish national commitments for the reduction of anthropogenic atmospheric emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH3), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

(b) Regulate the content and procedure for the development, adoption and implementation of a national air pollution control program; and

(c) Establish a system for monitoring and reporting on emissions and their effects on ecosystems.

SCOPE OF APPLICATION.

This new Royal Decree shall apply to the emissions of the pollutants included in Annex I from all sources present in Spanish territory, as well as in the maritime areas where the Kingdom of Spain exercises its sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction, including, where appropriate, pollution control zones.

Excluded from the scope of application of this Royal Decree are emissions that occur in the Canary Islands and in their adjacent maritime spaces where the Kingdom of Spain exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction.

NATIONAL EMISSION REDUCTION COMMITMENTS.

In line with the emission reduction targets and objectives, certain 'National Emission Reduction Commitments' contained in Annex II below are established for annual anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter. These commitments shall be reached within the time limits set out in Annex II itself.

Without prejudice to the measures adopted in this Royal Decree, the competent public administrations shall take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with the "National Emission Reduction Commitments".

In addition, these Administrations shall take the necessary measures to limit by 2025 anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter.

The following emissions shall not be counted towards compliance with the 'National Emission Reduction Commitments':

- (a) Emissions from aircraft outside the landing and take-off cycle;

- (b) Emissions from international shipping;

- (c) Emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) from activities falling under categories 3B (manure management) and 3D (agricultural soils) of the Nomenclature for Reporting (NFR) established by the LRTAP Convention.

- d) Emissions from domestic maritime traffic to and from the Canary Islands.

PREPARATION AND APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL AIR POLLUTION CONTROL PROGRAM.

In order to comply with the 'National Emission Reduction Commitments' set out in Annex II of the Royal Decree, the Ministry for Ecological Transition is mandated to produce, jointly with the other Ministries concerned and various competent authorities, a 'National Air Pollution Control Program' for annual anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particles. To this end, it is envisaged that a working group will be set up in which all the relevant ministries will be represented.

The National Air Pollution Control Program for the period 2019-2022will have to be approved by a Decision of the Council of Ministers adopted before 1 April 2019.

The Program, insofar as it contains binding mandates or binding effects upon the State, the Administrations or the citizens, shall be submitted to the mandatory opinion of the Council of State.

ANNEX II.   National Emissions Reduction Commitments

Chart  A

Commitments are to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). The reduction commitments are based on 2005 as the reference year. In the case of road transport, the reduction commitments apply to emissions calculated on the basis of the total  fuels sold.

 

Reduction of SO2 emissions compared with those in 2005

Reduction of NOx emissions compared to those in 2005

Reduction of COVNM emissions compared to those in 2005

For any year between 2020 and  2029

For any year as of 2030

For any year between 2020 and 2029

For any year as of 2030

For any year between  2020 and 2029

For any year as of 2030

Spain

67 %

88 %

41 %

62 %

22 %

39 %

 

Chart B

Commitments to reduce emissions of ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The reduction commitments are based on 2005 as the reference year. In the case of road transport, reduction commitments apply to emissions calculated on the basis of the total fuels sold.

 

Reduction of NH3 emissions compared to those in 2005

Reduction of PM2,5  compared to those in 2005

For any year between 2020 and 2029

For any year as of 2030

For any year between 2020 and 2029

For any year as of 2030

SPAIN

3 %

16 %

15 %

50 %