The Directive covers emission reduction commitments for anthropogenic atmospheric emissions. These include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2,5) as well as those listed in Annex I. It requires that national air pollution control programmes be elaborated, adopted and implemented as well as that emissions of the stipulated pollutants and associated impacts be monitored and reported.
This Directive does not cover methane emissions. However, the Directive includes as an appendix a Declaration by the Commission on the Review of Methane Emissions. The Commission states that there is a definite air quality case for continuing to review methane emissions in order to reduce ozone concentrations in the EU and also to promote international efforts on methane reduction. The Commission undertook to consider measures for reducing methane emissions, and where appropriate, submit a legislative proposal for that purpose.