CO2 emissions marginally higher in the fourth quarter

12/02/2016 15:00

In the final quarter of 2015, emissions of CO2 in the Netherlands were 0.4 percent higher than in the same period one year previously, while the economy grew by 1.6 percent. According to Statistics Netherlands, an important factor in rising CO2 emissions is increased production at electricity companies and in the chemical industry. On the other hand, lower gas consumption for heating pushed down CO2 emissions.

The final quarter of 2015 was warmer than one year previously. December in particular was less cold. When adjusted for weather effects, the increase in CO2 emissions was 2.4 percent instead of 0.4 percent.

Changes in CO2 emissions and economic development, Q4 2015

Higher CO2 emissions by energy companies

In the final quarter, CO2 emissions by companies supplying energy, water and waste treatment were over 4 percent higher than one year previously. These companies account for about 30 percent of total CO2 emissions. The increase is mainly due to higher electricity output by energy companies.

For the first time in two consecutive quarters, energy companies used more natural gas during production. The consumption of coal went up as well, although less significantly than during previous quarters.

Increased output chemical industry leads to higher CO2 emissions

In the agricultural, mining, manufacturing and construction sectors as well, more CO2 was emitted than in the same quarter one year previously. This is mainly due to increased emissions in the chemical sector, which is in itself emission-intensive. The preceding three quarters saw lower emissions.

Increased output in the crude oil industry also led to higher CO2 emissions. In the transport sector, CO2 emissions were higher than in the same quarter one year previously: there were more transport movements due to increased trade flows.

Lower CO2 emissions by households and services sector

The CO2 emissions of households, which account for over 20 percent of total CO2 emissions, declined by over 4 percent. This was mainly due to lower consumption of natural gas for heating of buildings, as the weather was relatively mild in the fourth quarter. In the services sector as well, emissions fell due to lower natural gas consumption for heating of office buildings.

CO2 emissions have been calculated according to the definitions of the Environmental Accounts. These are a first estimate.