National GHG emissions are calculated according to the guidelines of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to these guidelines, emissions by international maritime transport and aviation - with destination and origin abroad - are not allocated to countries from a policy perspective. Emissions by aviation and maritime transport are only included insofar as they are caused by domestic traffic. This is the reason why IPCC emissions for water transport and aviation are low in the Netherlands (approx. 1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2018, emitted mainly by inland navigation). Within the scope of the environmental accounts, emissions by international maritime transport and aviation are allocated to countries based on their contribution to the national economy.
In the Urgenda climate case of 24 June 2015, a Dutch court ruled that by 2020 national emissions must be reduced by at least 25 percent relative to 1990. In the Coalition Agreement of 10 October 2017, the government set the target of 49 percent lower emissions relative to 1990 by 2030. In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions may not exceed 166 billion CO2 equivalents. This limit has been set at 113 billion CO2 equivalents for the year 2030.