Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases play a part in climate change, as they retain part of the heat radiated by the sun to the earth’s surface. Increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere retains solar heat and the temperature of the surface of the earth is rising. This is called the (enhanced) greenhouse effect. The most important greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and laughing gas (N2O).

Greenhouse gas emissions generated by the Dutch economy are measured on the basis of the resident principle. The resident principle includes all emissions and consumption of energy and raw materials by residents.
The principle also includes emissions caused by Dutch residents outside the Netherlands, e.g. emissions caused during transport when travelling abroad. Emissions caused by foreigners in the Netherlands are not included in the resident principle.

The contribution to the greenhouse effect is expressed in greenhouse gas equivalents (CO2 equivalents). One greenhouse gas equivalent is defined as the effect of emission of 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide (CO2). Emission of 1 kg of methane equals 21 CO2 equivalents and emission of 1 kg of laughing gas equals 310 CO2 equivalents.