More carbon dioxide, less nitrogen oxide from road traffic

The increase in motorised traffic in the Netherlands has pushed up the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) sharply in the last ten years. In spite of efforts to reduce fuel consumption by motor vehicles, the opposite has been achieved. The main reasons for this are that on average vehicles have become heavier, and the number of air-conditioned vehicles has increased.

Developments in road traffic (1990=100)

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However, in spite of the increase in vehicle kilometres and fuel consumption, the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic substances (VOS) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)have decreased. This decrease can be attributed to the growing numbers and improved performance of catalytic converters. The increased use of catalytic converters in motor vehicles and the improvement of fuel composition have doubled environmental costs since 1990.

These and other results of environmental surveys can be found in the third edition of Milieucompendium 2001 -het milieu in cijfers (The environment compendium 2001 - the environment in figures 2001), a joint project of the Netherlands Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Statistics Netherlands.

Paul Klein