Energy and climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2012

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Greenhouse gas emissions were almost 2 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2011. Emissions were 10 per cent lower than the Kyoto protocol base year level.

Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 2011

The emissions of greenhouse gases were almost 2% lower in 2012 than in 2011, at 192 million tons CO2 equivalents. This decrease can be almost completely attributed to the decrease in carbon dioxide emissions (CO2). CO2. emissions were, at 165 million tons, just above the emission level at the start of the 1990s. Due to the relative cold winter more natural gas was used due for heating of houses and offices. The emission of CO2 increased with 2 million tons. This increase was undone by the decrease of the generation of electricity. More (cheaper) electricity was imported from Germany. Economic recession is often accompanied by a lower emission level of greenhouse gases. But in 2012 this was not the case due to a slight economic growth in the chemical sector. The emissions by road traffic decreased 1.4 million tons CO2 than in 2011, due to a decrease in the use of fuels and a decrease in vehicle kilometers.
The emission of other greenhouse gases remained more or less stable compared with 2011.

What is the trend for each greenhouse gas compared with 1990?

Growing energy consumption caused emissions of CO2 to increase by over 10% between 1990 and 2005. The increase in emissions levelled off in 2005 due to reduced fossil fuel use in the energy sector, in households and in the trade, services and government sectors. This lower use was the result of an increase in the use of sustainable energy and reduced natural gas consumption for heating buildings due to the relatively mild winters.
Emissions of the greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) decreased between 1990 and 2012 by 41% and 55% respectively. The decrease in methane emissions was due to a decrease in landfill operations, resulting in lower CH4 emissions from landfill sites. Methane emissions from agriculture also decreased due to a decrease in the number of livestock. Emissions did not decline any further after 2007. Emissions of N2O declined after 1995 due to a reduction in the amount of fertilizer applied to land and a reduction in artificial fertilizer use. The strong decline in N2O emissions after 2008 is due to the implementation of potassium nitrate production measures. Emissions of F-gases began to decrease in 1998, largely due to measures taken in the industrial sector. However, F-gas emissions increased slightly after 2005 due to the replacement of HCFCs with HFCs for use as coolants.

Climate policy objectives

According the Kyoto Protocol The Netherlands had to decrease the emissions of greenhouse gases with an average of 6% in respect to the Kyoto basis year (the sum of the CO2 equivalents of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in 1990 and the fluorinated gases (HKCs, PFCs and SF6) in 1995)
The emissions in this basic year has been fixed on 213.2 million tons CO2 equivalents. Considering the data of 2012, the average emissions over the period 2008-2012 is 199.4 million tons. This is a decrease of 6.4% compared with the basis year.


Archive for this indicator

Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2012 (indicator 0165, version 24 , 20 May 2014 ). Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.