Decrease in the SO2 and NOx emissions is not continuing
In 2009 the SO2
emissions were at their lowest level at only 43 % of the emissionsin 2000. The strong reduction in emissions from the chemical and metal subsectors and the financial-economic crisis in 2008 and especially in 2009 were the reason for this. In 2010 the industrial activity recovered and the SO2
emissions also increased again, especially in the chemical and metal subsectors (+34 % and +33 % between 2009 and 2010), clearly more than the increase in production (+21 % and +9 %). A loss in return and efficiency when restarting installations that had been stopped temporarily or the renewed use at full capacity of large installations could be the reason for this.
The industrial SO2
emissions, which represent 38 % of the total emissions in Flanders in 2010, can be reduced further by the use of low-sulphur fuels (natural gas), DeSOx installations and a higher energy efficiency.
In contrast to SO2
, the NOx
emissions have decreased much less in recent years. In 2010 the emissions were 21 % lower than in 2000. Also as a result of the financial-economic crisis, the emissions decreased in 2008 and 2009 (-27 % in 2009 with respect to 2005). Due to the greatly improving economy, the NOx
emissions increased between 2009 and 2010 in nearly all subsectors.
The increase in emissions between 2009 and 2010 was the most pronounced in the metal subsector (+41 %). For the same reasons as for SO2
the increase in emissions is more pronounced than the increase in production.
In chemicals, the NOx emissions increase was significantly less than the increase in production. This was a consequence of the Environmental Policy Agreement of July 9, 2009 concerning a further reduction of the NOx
emissions to 9.8 ktonnes by 2013 at the latest. Following further substantial investments in this subsector, notably in the use of NOx
filters, low NOx
burners, catalytic converters and other measures, this target was reached already in 2010.