Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2014

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In 2014 greenhouse gas emissions were 4 per cent lower than in 2013. The level of the emissions was 16 per cent under the Kyoto protocol base year.

Decrease greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2013

Greenhouse gas emissions decreased marginally with 4 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013. This decrease can be attributed almost entirely to the decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) decreased marginally. The F-gas emission of the greenhouse gases remained more or less stable compared to 2013.
In 2014, the CO2 emissions decreased by 4.6% to 158.0 million tons of CO2 equivalents. Emissions by traffic decreased by 2.4 million tons of CO2 equivalents. This was caused by cleaner car park and less traffic. This was largely offset by the cold spring of 2013. Less natural gas was used for heating of dwellings and offices (7 million tons).
Methane (CH4) emissions decreased marginally in 2014. There was a decrease in the emissions from dumping sites (0.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents) and a small increase due to an increase of the dairy cow stock (0.1 million tons).
In chemical industry, emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) grew marginally by 0.1 million tons of CO2 equivalents compared to 2013.
In 2014, F-gas emissions (HFKs, PFKs and SF6) remained more or less stable.

Trends since the Kyoto base year

Compared to the Kyoto base year, emission of greenhouse gases fell by 16.5%. The changes differ for each type of greenhouse gas.
Over the period 1990 to 2014 CO2 emissions decreased by 3.2% (5.2 million tons of CO2 equivalents), predominantly due to mild winter of 2014. Since approximately 2010, emissions increased due to the energy and traffic sectors. Since 2010 the increases turned into decreases due to imports of electricity and cleaner car park and less traffic. Also an increase in the use of renewable energy and reduced natural gas consumption for heating dwellings and offices due to the relatively mild winters resulted in a decrease of the emissions.
Between 1990 and 2014 emissions of CH4 decreased by 14,1 million tons of CO2 equivalents (43%). This decrease was due to a decrease in landfill operations, resulting in lower emissions from landfill sites. Methane emissions also decreased due to a decrease in the number of livestock in agriculture and measures taken by the energy sector.
Since 1990 N2O emissions decreased by 56%. After 1995 this decline was due to a reduction in the amount of manure applied to land and a reduction in fertiliser use. A strong decline in N2O emissions after 2008 was due to the implementation of potassium nitrate production measures.
Emissions of fluorinated gases began to decrease in 1998, largely due to the measures taken in the industrial sector. However, after 2005 fluorinated gas emissions increased slightly due to the replacement of HCFCs with HFCs for use of coolants. In total emissions of F-gases decreased by 71% between 1995 and 2014.

Climate policy objectives

According the Kyoto Protocol The Netherlands had to reduce greenhouse gases emissions by an average of 6% relative 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)
Emissions in this basic year were set at 213.2 million tons of CO2 equivalents. Considering the data from 2012, the emission level over the period 2008-2012 averaged 199.4 million tons, i.e. a decrease by 6.4% compared to the basis year.
In 2012, an agreement was reached between various countries regarding an extension of the Kyoto Protocol. This agreement should lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 18% in 2020 compared with the Kyoto base year.

Revision of Dutch energy statistics lead to revised 1995-2013 emission data

Due to availability of new, better sector data and to streamline Dutch energy statistics with international demands and definitions, energy statistics have been revised for 1995-2013 data. Therefore revised emission data on CO2, CH4 and N2O have been recalculated.

Changes in the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions caused by new IPCC guidelines

Data presented here have been calculated according the most recent IPCC Guidelines (2006). New Global warming Potentials have been used and other sources and emission factors have been used.


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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2014 (indicator 0165, version 27,

) 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.