The fight against climate change and air pollution

Mitigating climate change and air pollution is perhaps our greatest societal challenge, but TNO can help. We’re developing methods to measure greenhouse gases, particulate matter and nitrogen and we’re identifying the sources and consequences of emissions. This enables companies and public authorities to take well-considered and effective measures. Through these actions, TNO is playing a key role in initiating the climate transition.

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Air pollution and climate change

The Paris Agreement contains global agreements on climate objectives. As a part of this, the Netherlands has committed itself to a greenhouse gas reduction of 49% by 2030. Additionally, there is a desire to further reduce air pollution at a global and a European level. There is an increasing amount of scientific evidence of the harmful effects of air pollution on health, especially particulate matter.

In order to achieve these goals, radical changes are required worldwide in energy systems, industrial production chains, buildings, traffic and agriculture. For this to be able to take place, it’s important to know how emissions occur, how they influence climate change and air quality and how they can be effectively reduced.

Effective measures

TNO has many years of experience in identifying emissions across all sectors. By combining measurements, satellite data and complex climate modelling, we’re able to determine the sources and consequences of emissions with increasing accuracy. As a result, we can advise and support companies and public authorities in determining the best measures to reduce emissions. Examples of this include:

  • A verification system for greenhouse gas: TNO is developing methods and models to measure CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. A European greenhouse gas verification system, based on measurement and satellite data, is being developed with international partners.
  • Getting to grips with sources of particulate matter: TNO has developed the ‘particulate matter tool’ TOPAS (TNO Operational Source Apportionment Service), which provides insight into the origins of particulate matter. TOPAS can explain why there is a large amount of particulate matter in certain places and what causes it. Precautions can then be taken on this basis.
  • Detailed mapping of nitrogen deposition: TNO is mapping out nitrogen deposition in vulnerable areas. Insights into eutrophication and acidification are important for the preservation of biodiversity and productivity. Deposition maps help policymakers to take the right measures, in terms of air pollution, to protect these areas.
The Lotos-Euros model'

Environment & Climate

Dr. Ir. Gerard van der Laan

  • Research Manager Climate Air
  • Sustainability
  • Climate
  • Emissions
  • Air pollution

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