Emission of greenhouse gases still increasing

The emission of greenhouse gases in the Netherlands increased marginally from 214 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2003 to 217 billion kilograms in 2004. The emission of greenhouse gases in 2004 was two percent up on 1990. In the period 2008-2012 the Kyoto Protocol commits the Netherlands to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent compared to 1990. Since 1990 the emissions of greenhouse gases are fairly stable around 215 billion CO2 equivalents as revised calculations over the period 1990-2004 show.

Carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise

Emissions into the atmosphere of separate greenhouse gases vary a great deal over the period 1990-2004. In this period, emissions of carbon dioxide, for example, increased by more than 13 percent to reach 179 billion kilograms, but the amount of methane, dinitrogen oxide and fluoride gases was reduced by 30 percent (CO2 equivalents). This largely compensates for the increase in CO2 emissions. The emissions of methane and dinitrogen oxide were brought down as a result of the reduction of the number of cattle (and dung). The decrease in the emissions of fluoride gases are the result of restrictive measures.

Emission of greenhouse gases

Share of energy sector and traffic rising

In 2004 the sectors energy, traffic and manufacturing industry make a substantial contribution (78 percent) to carbon dioxide emissions. The shares of the energy sector (32 percent) and traffic (22 percent) have increased since 1990, when they were 26 and 19 percent respectively. The share of manufacturing industry has shown a downward trend for years and was at 24 percent in 2004.

Emission of carbon dioxide by activity

Increasing demand for energy

Carbon dioxide emissions by the energy sector have risen by over 40 percent to 58 billion kilograms in 2004, carbon dioxide discharges by the sector traffic rose by almost 30 percent to 39 billion kilograms in 2004. The increase is the result of the sharply risen demand for fuels. In road transport more kilometres were covered (traffic performance). The amount of fuel involved was only partly compensated for by more fuel-efficient engines. Producers of electricity used more fuel to meet the increasing demand for electricity by consumers and manufacturing industry.

Energy demand

Kees Olsthoorn and Ed Zonneveld