Reduction CO2 emissions in first quarter

CO2 emissions in the Netherlands were reduced by 1.3 percent in Q1 2016 relative to the same quarter in 2015. The Dutch economy grew 1.4 percent over the same period. The main reason for the reduction is that power stations used less coal to generate electricity. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the reduced CO2 emission level was also due to the lower natural gas consumption for heating.

The average temperature in Q1 2016 was a bit higher than in the same period last year. The first two months of 2016 in particular recorded higher temperatures. Adjusted for weather conditions, CO2 emissions were reduced by 0.8 percent.

Changes in CO2 emissions and economic development, first quarter of 2016

Power stations emit less CO2

CO2 emissions produced by power stations, water supply companies and waste treatment companies were more than 3 percent lower in Q1 than in the same quarter last year. Together, they accounted for approximately 28 percent of total CO2 emissions. Power stations used less coal and more natural gas to generate electricity, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. Last year power stations used more coal to generate electricity. When natural gas is burnt, the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere is lower than when coal is used. The fuel mix used in Dutch power stations is less harmful to the environment. Total electricity production, however, has risen as a result of increased domestic consumption.

Stepped-up production in chemical sector causes CO2 emissions to rise

The cluster agriculture, mining, manufacturing industry and construction - in particular the petroleum industry - emitted less CO2 than in the same quarter last year, but the volume of CO2 emitted by the chemical sector was higher than in Q1 2015. The increase is mainly caused by the stepped-up production in this sector.

The transport sector also accounted for higher CO2 emissions than in Q1 2015, mainly caused by an increase in the number of aircraft movements.

Lower CO2 emissions households and services sector

Dutch households account for 23 percent of total CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. The share of households was reduced by nearly 1 percent. Since the weather was relatively mild in the first quarter of this year, households used less natural gas to heat their homes. In the services sector too, CO2 emissions were lower because less natural gas was needed to heat offices and factories.

The calculation of CO2 emissions is consistent with the definitions used in Environmental accounts. This is a first estimate.