Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Netherlands in 2017 were just as high as those reported more than quarter of a century ago, according to a statement released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Monday.
"Last year’s CO2 emission levels equalled those of 1990. Other greenhouse gas emissions (methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases) have been reduced by half, relative to 1990. In 2017, total emissions expressed in CO2 equivalents were 13 percent lower than in 1990, the reference year which the emission reduction targets are based on," the institute noted.
The sectors, which caused emissions of 163 billion kilograms (kg) in 2017, have grown in scale. According to CBS, emissions per square meter were the highest in the municipalities of Velsen, Geertruidenberg and Rotterdam.
The share of CO2 in total greenhouse gas emissions rose from 74 percent in 1990 to 85 percent in 2017, according to CBS.
In 2017, energy companies emitted 22 percent, or 9 billion kg more CO2 than in 1990, while electricity production was up by 54 percent.
Partly as a result of higher energy efficiency at power plants, CO2 emissions increased less rapidly than production, CBS explained adding that more and more electricity is generated from wind in the country.
"Last year, CO2 emissions by the chemical, petroleum and basic metal industries were 14 percent (6 billion kg) lower than in 1990, while their production was roughly 50 percent higher. The decrease in CO2 emissions is partly related to energy-saving measures taken by these companies," it noted.
- Less CO2 per square km
In 2017, road traffic emitted 12 percent (3 billion kg) more CO2 than in 1990. Motor vehicles drove 42 percent more kilometers on Dutch motorways last year. In other words, fewer fossil fuels were used for each kilometer traveled.
"Over the past decade, in particular, passenger cars have become more fuel-efficient. Car manufacturers have had to comply with increasingly strict European emission standards. Furthermore, tax benefits have encouraged the purchase of fuel-efficient cars," it said.
Due to better insulation and the use of high-efficiency boilers, heating homes and commercial buildings requires less energy than previously, according to CBS.
Last year, the built environment sector emitted 17 percent (5 billion kg) less CO2 than in 1990, despite the 32 percent increase in the number of homes from 5.8 to 7.7 million.
By Ebru Sengul