CO2 emissions reduced again

In the second quarter of 2016, CO2 emissions in the Netherlands were 0.3 percent lower than in the same quarter one year previously. In the same period, economic growth was 2.3 percent. According to Statistics Netherlands (CBS), CO2 emissions were reduced at a time of economic growth for the second quarter in a row. A major factor in falling CO2 emissions is lower consumption of natural gas for heating. Power stations also continued using more natural gas than coal.

Changes in CO2 emissions and economic development, second quarter of 2016
Changes in CO2 emissions and economic development, second quarter of 2016
 CO2 emissionsValue added of producersGDP
Dutch economy (weather adjusted)0.3
Dutch economy-0.32.3
Energy and water supply and waste treatment-2.92.1
Services-1.52.2
Transport sector1.92.7
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction2.72.8
Households-0.2

The second quarter of 2016 had milder weather conditions than one year earlier. After adjustment for warmer weather, CO2 emissions were 0.3 percent higher.

Lower CO2 emissions at energy companies

In the second quarter, CO2 emissions by energy, water and waste management companies were reduced by nearly 3 percent relative to the same quarter last year. These companies account for approximately 35 percent of total emissions. The decrease in emissions is due to the use of more natural gas instead of coal for energy production. In contrast, coal consumption had increased in 2015. Combustion of natural gas generates less CO2 than coal; the fuel mix at Dutch energy companies has therefore improved from an environmental perspective.

Rising CO2 emissions in the transport sector

CO2 emissions in the transport sector rose in the second quarter. On the other hand, the value added grew more significantly in this sector than the CO2 emissions. Emissions increased in road and air transport of goods and as a result of higher production volumes in particular.

Chemical industry emits more CO2 due to rising output

The cluster agriculture, extraction, manufacturing and construction produced more CO2 in 2016 than in the same quarter last year. This cluster represents approximately 24 percent of total emissions. The chemical industry in particular was responsible for increased emissions. It is an emission intensive sector, accounting for approximately 7 percent of total emissions. The rise in this sector is due to increased production.

Lower CO2 emissions in other services and households

Sectors with other services, generally accounting for around 9 percent of total CO2 emissions, produced 1,5 percent less CO2. In particular, consumption of natural gas for heating of office buildings decreased as the second quarter of 2016 was relatively mild. Households as well produced less CO2 as natural gas consumption for heating of houses was lower.

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