Lower CO2 emissions in Q4 2017

In Q4 2017, CO2 emissions in the Netherlands were 2.2 percent down year-on-year. According to the first estimate, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.9 percent in the same period. Lower CO2 emissions were mainly due to reduced coal consumption in electricity production and a decrease in gas consumption for heating purposes. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on the latest quarterly figures on CO2 emissions.

The weather was milder in Q4 2017 compared to the same quarter one year previously. When adjusted for this weather effect, CO2 emissions were 0.2 percent lower.

CO2 emissions and economic development, Q4 2017 (year-on-year volume changes in %)
 CO2 emissionsValue added of producersGDP
Dutch economy (weather adjusted)-0.2
Dutch economy-2.22.9
Energy and water supply and waste treatment-8.2-0.9
Transport sector3.53.4
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction54.1

Reduced CO2 emissions by energy companies

In Q4 2017, CO2 emissions by energy, water and waste management companies went down by over 8 percent year-on-year. These companies account for 29 percent of total CO2 emissions. The reduction is mainly due to energy companies using less coal and more natural gas in their production process. Combustion of natural gas results in lower CO2 emissions than combustion of coal. The fuel mix used at Dutch power stations has therefore improved from an environmental perspective.

Lower CO2 emissions by households and services sector

CO2 emissions by households as well as by the services sector were lower than in Q4 2016. Consumption of natural gas for the heating of homes and commercial buildings was down, but motor fuel consumption for transportation was up.

Higher CO2 emissions by basic chemical industry

Emissions of CO2 in the cluster agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction were up year-on-year. The emission-intensive basic chemical and petrochemical industries saw an increase in production in Q4 2017, thereby emitting more CO2. Oil refineries, on the other hand, produced substantially less and recorded lower CO2 emissions as a result.

Transport sector emits more CO2

CO2 emissions by the transport sector rose by over 3 percent in Q4. The sharpest increase was seen in goods transport by road and in aviation, mainly due to more transport activities.

Contribution of CO2 emissions by households and industries, Q4 2017
Energy and water supply and waste treatment29
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction25
Transport sector13

The calculation of CO2 emissions is consistent with the definitions used in Environmental accounts. This is a first estimate, based on the most recent data available at that moment. Figures may change depending on new statistical information becoming available at a later stage.