Higher CO2 emissions in fourth quarter of 2019

© Hollandse Hoogte / Berlinda van Dam
In the fourth quarter of 2019, CO2 emissions in the Netherlands were up by 1.8 percent year-on-year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 1.6 percent in the same period, according to the second estimate. The increase in CO2 emissions was mainly due to higher output by energy companies and the petroleum industry. CO2 emissions by the transport sector, on the other hand, were lower than one year previously. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on the latest quarterly figures on CO2 emissions.

It was slightly colder in Q4 2019 than in the same quarter of 2018. Adjusted for this weather effect, CO2 emissions were 1.2 percent higher than one year previously.

CO2 emissions and economic development, Q4 2019
CategoriesCO2 emissions (year-on-year volume change in %)Value added of producers (year-on-year volume change in %)GDP (year-on-year volume change in %)
Total (weather adjusted)1.2
Energy and water supply and
waste treatment
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and
Transport sector-0.9-0.5

Higher CO2 emissions by energy companies

In Q4 2019, CO2 emissions by energy, water and waste management companies were up by 3.2 percent year-on-year. Emissions by these sectors were down in the first three quarters of 2019. These companies accounted for almost 28 percent of total CO2 emissions. Electricity companies used less coal and more natural gas in their production process. Combustion of natural gas results in lower CO2 emissions than coal combustion. Due to more electricity production, however, emissions were higher than in Q4 2018.

CO2 emissions higher in agriculture and manufacturing

In Q4 2019, emissions of CO2 in the cluster agriculture, mining, manufacturing industry and construction were 2.6 percent up on one year previously. This cluster was responsible for over 26 percent of total emissions in that quarter. The petroleum industry and the agricultural sector emitted more CO2 while emissions by the basic metal industry were lower than one year previously.

Higher CO2 emissions by households and services sector

CO2 emissions by households were 1 percent higher than one year previously. Households consumed slightly more natural gas for heating of homes. Emissions on account of motor fuel consumption did not change. In Q4 2019, households occupied a share in total CO2 emissions exceeding 21 percent. CO2 emissions by the services sector were also up by 1 percent year-on-year. The share in total emissions stood at over 12 percent.

Transport sector emits less CO2

CO2 emissions by the transport sector were down by 0.9 percent year-on-year in Q4 2019. The value added (output minus intermediate consumption) was lower in this period as well. The transport sector accounted for over 12 percent of total emissions. Emissions by the aviation sector and inland navigation increased while emissions by maritime shipping and road haulage decreased.

Contributions of CO2 emissions by households and industries, Q4 2019
Energy and water supply and waste treatment27.8
Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction 26.1
Transport sector12.5

The figures for Q4 2019 do not yet reflect the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The calculation of CO2 emissions is consistent with the definitions used in the Environmental Accounts. This is a first estimate based on information available at that particular moment. Figures may change as a result of new statistical source information becoming available at a later stage.