How much greenhouse gas does the transport sector emit?

In 2022, the volume of greenhouse gases emitted by the Dutch transport sector were 24 billion kg of CO2 equivalent. That was 12 percent of the total greenhouse gases emissions from the Dutch economy. Within the transportation sector, aviation was responsible for more than one third of greenhouse gas emissions (40 percent), followed by water transport (maritime and inland waterways) (31 percent) and road transportation (26 percent). There is also a small percentage of emissions from transport services. Over two-thirds of transport emissions fall outside the scope of the Netherlands’ climate goals – namely those from international aviation and maritime transport.

Since 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector have fallen by 14 percent, while total emissions from the Dutch economy have fallen by 21 percent during the same period. Aviation emissions have fallen by 20 percent. Emissions from transport by boat and ship fell by 9 percent between 2010 and 2021. Emissions from terrestrial transport fell by 3 percent during the same period.

Calculating emissions attributable the Dutch economy

Greenhouse gas emissions by the transport sector and the Dutch economy are calculated according to guidelines set out in the System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA). Emissions attributable to the Dutch economy are emissions caused by Dutch economic activity, and these are calculated along the lines of the national accounts so that they are directly comparable with macroeconomic data such as gross domestic product.

Emissions by the Dutch economy differ from national emissions calculated according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Included in both totals, but falling outside the scope of the Dutch transport sector, are greenhouse gas emissions by domestic transport movements by households and transport carried out by companies that are not part of the transport sector.

Transport sector has high emissions outside the Netherlands

Many of the Netherlands’ transport activities take place beyond the country’s borders. As a result, 75 percent of the relevant emissions take place abroad. For land transport, the figure is 43 percent, and for inland shipping it is 38 percent. When it comes to maritime transport, 93 percent of greenhouse gas emissions occur outside Dutch territorial waters. For aviation, too, 93 percent of emissions occur outside the Netherlands.