09 May Lower greenhouse gas emissions: less coal and methane
The emission of greenhouse gases in the Netherlands was reduced by approximately 2 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. The decrease was due to lower CO2 emissions from energy companies, smaller livestock numbers and less CO2 emissions in industry. This is evident from provisional figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics and RIVM / Emission registration.
The Statistics Netherlands calculate the conversion of greenhouse gas emissions into CO2 equivalents. One CO2 equivalent is equivalent to the effect that the emission of one kilo of CO2 has. There are differences per element. For example, the emission of one kilo of laughing gas equals 298 CO2 equivalents and the emission of one kilo of methane is 25 CO2 equivalents.
In 2018, the Netherlands emitted 189.5 million CO2 equivalents; 4.2 billion less than in 2017. The lower emissions are mainly due to the fact that less CO2 is emitted by the energy sector. A smaller herd also means less methane emissions.
Last year, 161 billion kilos of CO2 were emitted. That is 2 percent (4 billion kilos, ed.) Less than in 2017. Energy companies accounted for the largest decrease; they emitted 3 billion kilos less. The decrease was also visible in previous years. There was another peak in emissions in 2015, when new coal-fired power stations were put into operation. The phasing out of old power stations led to a decrease in emissions in the following years. The growth in the share of renewable energy also contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Parallel to the decline, the economy grew by 8 percent in the past year. As a result, the so-called emission intensity decreased. This is the amount of emissions per euro of the gross domestic product. The decrease is 10 percent, according to the CBS.
Greenhouse gases in 2020
Next year, greenhouse gas emissions must reach 166 billion CO2 equivalents. With that amount, the 25 percent reduction compared to 1990 is achieved. This percentage has been set by the judge in a court case that Urgenda filed against the cabinet. With emissions of 189.5 million CO2 equivalents, emissions were 14.5 percent lower, according to CBS, than in 1990.