Greenhouse gas emissions higher than Kyoto figures suggest

11/11/2008 15:00
  • Kyoto targets feasible
  • Emissions caused by economic activities have grown since 1990
  • Strong increase in emissions caused by air traffic and road transport
  • Large part of Dutch CO2 emissions for foreign consumption

According to the Kyoto Protocol, the emission of greenhouse gases was reduced by 4 percent over the period 1990-2007. The targets set by the Kyoto Treaty appear feasible, but Statistics Netherlands has calculated that economic activities have caused a 3 percent emission increase.

Greenhouse gases released by international transport are not included in the Kyoto data, which accounts for the difference. As the transport sector is growing, the volume of greenhouse gases emitted by aircraft and lorries has grown considerably.
To meet the needs of Dutch consumers, CO2 emissions are released abroad, but in the Netherlands the volume required to meet the needs of foreign consumersis far larger.  Hence, the pollution caused by the Netherlands is partly the result of the Dutch trade surplus. Dutch export products generally cause more pollution than products imported into the Netherlands. The manufacture of agricultural and chemical products in particular accounts for large amounts of CO2 emissions.

The volume of greenhouse gas emmissions has risen only marginally since 1990, whereas the economy has grown substantially over the same period. Electricity companies and the transport sector predominantly account for the emission increase. The volume of CO2  emissions has barely risen over the past seventeen years, mainly due to energy-efficient technologies. Emissions were also reduced, because the growing services sector tends to pollute less than manufacturing industry.