This series contains National Statistics on emissions of air pollutants in the UK and air quality (concentrations of air pollutants) in the UK.
Emissions of air pollutants
The UK compiles and reports an annual air pollutant emissions inventory known as the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), a consistent time series of anthropogenic UK emissions of air pollutants from 1970 onwards (from 1980 for emissions of ammonia). The NAEI includes emissions from industry, transport, agriculture, waste and domestic sources. The inventory database can be queried on the NAEI website, which also contains the database for the UK greenhouse gas inventory.
National statistics on emissions of air pollutants in the UK are also produced in February each year and provide an accessible source of data for users who are not inventory experts. These statistics also allow users to monitor the UK’s progress in meeting international ceilings on annual emissions of air pollutants.
Air quality in the UK is affected by emissions included in the NAEI, but also by secondary formation of air pollutants, emissions originating from outside the UK, and geographical and meteorological factors.
The UK monitors air quality nationally through a number of networks of monitoring stations. The network that monitors concentrations of the most well-known pollutants is called the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN), which reports data hourly in near real-time on the UK-AIR website. Historical hourly data for each monitoring site are available to extract from the UK-AIR database on the website along with a variety of other data tools.
National statistics on air quality in the UK are also produced in April each year and provide an accessible assessment of long-term trends in air quality as measured by the AURN. In September each year, measurements from the national monitoring networks are combined with modelling outputs to form a national assessment of air quality against the limit and target values for concentrations of air pollutants set internationally and domestically. The government publishes an annual report on the results of this assessment, and the modelling data used for this report is published in an interactive map on the UK-AIR website.
Local authorities also carry out air quality monitoring as part of their statutory duties to review and assess local air quality. Some of these monitoring stations are also reported through the UK-AIR website, but local authorities produce separate annual status reports on their monitoring network which they often publish on their websites or alternatively provide a contact email address to request them.
Further information on air quality in the UK and emissions of air pollutants is available from:
UK-AIR – provides much of the air quality information in the UK, including:
NAEI website – provides a database of national emissions estimates for air pollutants and greenhouse gases, including a map of emission sources in the UK as well as emission factors and relevant reports.