The Dutch economy increased its CO2 emissions by 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2015 on the same quarter of 2014. According to Statistics Netherlands, the main causes were economic growth, more gas consumption by households, and the use of coal instead of natural gas in energy plants.
It was not as warm in the second quarter of 2015 as in the same quarter of 2014. April was particularly cool in comparison. This has led to higher natural gas consumption for heating buildings, which in turn led to a 6 percent increase in CO2 emissions by households. Households are responsible for more than 15 percent all CO2 emissions. Emissions by services also increased because of their higher natural gas consumption for heating buildings.
Adjusted for weather conditions, the increase in CO2 emissions was 2.7 instead of 4.1 percent.
More CO2 emissions by energy companies due to a different fuel mix
In the second quarter of 2015, CO2 emissions by ‘energy and water supply and waste treatment’ were over 10 percent higher than a year earlier. These companies account for about 37 percent of total emissions. The Dutch energy companies produced less electricity than in the same quarter of 2014, but because they used more coal and less natural gas in their production, their emissions ended up higher. Firing coal produces relatively more CO2 emissions than combusting natural gas. From an environmental point of view the fuel mix used by Dutch energy companies has degenerated.
Lower production in chemical industry leads to lowerCO2 emissions
‘Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction’ emitted less CO2 than in the same quarter of 2014. This is mainly due to the lower emissions by the chemical industry. The emission intensive chemical industry produced less than in the second quarter of 2014 and hence its CO2 emissions were lower in the second quarter of 2015. The oil industry increased its CO2 emissions. The production of oil products was up on the second quarter of 2014.
The CO2 emissions of the transport sector increased in the second quarter, which was partly caused by extra transport due to the growing trade flows.
Dutch CO2 emissions are calculated according to the definitions of the environmental accounts. This is a first estimate.