Estimating the potential of incremental behavioural changes to reduce Swedish emissions of NEC Directive air pollutants

The report presents a quantification of how 2030 emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases could be affected by 10 easily available changes in everyday behavior. These changes relate to dietary choice, personal mobility and indoor climate control. The analysis shows that the changes together could reduce expected Swedish 2030 emissions of NOx with 1.7 – 3 ktonne, PM2.5 with 1 – 2.6 ktonne, and CO2 with 2-4 Mtonne. The measures could thereby contribute significantly to Swedish air pollution and climate targets.

Summary

Following EU regulations, Sweden needs to reduce 2005 emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter with 22, 66, 36, 17, and 19% by 2030, and largest efforts are needed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. However, since the targets are ambitious and the time frame is short, there is a risk that some of the already proposed efforts will be inadequate. It is therefore useful to estimate the emission reduction potential from an implementation of behavioral change measures.

The analysis was done in several steps. From an overview of the literature 10 measures were selected for analysis. After this, the national potential of the measures was estimated through re-calculations of the emission scenarios supporting the official Swedish emission projections.

The current data quality only allows for the results to be considered best available estimates. Given this caveat the analysis shows that the measures could contribute with 12-24% of the required additional nitrogen oxide emission reductions in 2030. If all measures would be implemented emissions of carbon dioxide (biogenic and fossil) could be reduced by 2-4 Mtonne. The report also presents several knowledge gaps that needs to be considered prior to any governmental action.

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Last updated: 2021-05-05

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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