Energy and climate change

Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2015

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In 2015 greenhouse gas emissions (preliminary data) were 5 per cent higher than in 2014. The level of the emissions was 12 per cent under the Kyoto protocol base year.

Increase greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 relative to 2014

Greenhouse gas emissions increased with 5 per cent in 2015 (preliminary data) compared to 2014. This increase follows on a four-year decrease. It should be noted that the emissions of greenhouse gases, and especially carbon dioxide, are predominantly influenced by the temperature in winter (influencing heating of dwellings and offices).In 2015 the CO2 emissions increased with 2.4 Mton CO2 equivalents because of the colder winter relative to 2014. There was also an increase in the energy sector due to a larger input of coal for the production of electricity. In total the CO2 emissions increased with 8.7 Mton (5.5%) relative to 2014 to 166.7 Mton.
The emissions of methane (CH4) marginally increased due to an increase of the dairy cow stock (agricultural sector) The emissions from dumping sites decreased slightly.
The emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) increased with about 2 per cent and also the emissions of F-gases increased slightly in 2015 relative to 2014

Trends since the Kyoto base year

Compared to the Kyoto base year, emission of greenhouse gases fell by 12.4%. The changes differ for each type of greenhouse gas.
Over the period 1990 to 2015 CO2 emissions increased by 2.1% (3.5 million tons of CO2 equivalents), the changes in emissions are predominantly influenced by the temperature of the winter. Also a transition to the input of more coal for the production of electricity caused an increase of the emission of CO2.
Between 1990 and 2015 emissions of CH4 decreased by 14.0 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 (though an increase in 2015) and measures taken by the energy sector.
Since 1990 N2O emissions decreased by 54%. 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 70% between 1995 and 2015.

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. For these Kyoto targets the IPCC guidelines 2006 are used


Archive for this indicator

Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2016). Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2015 (indicator 0165, version 29 , 5 September 2016 ). 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.