Dutch CO2 emissions down 11%; Aviation emissions rising
Dutch emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses were about 11 percent lower in the first quarter of this year than in the same period last year. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the RIVM calculated that emissions decreased in most sectors, except for aviation and international shipping. If these two sectors and emissions from biomass-firing are included, emissions decreased by 9.9 percent.
In aviation, emissions rose by a massive 49 percent compared to the first quarter of 2021. Airlines are flying more again after a deep dip during the coronavirus pandemic.
The transport sector as a whole emitted 13.5 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2). This increase is offset by decreased emissions from the electricity sector, industry, agriculture, and the built environment. The main reason for the decrease is lower natural gas consumption.
The high natural gas prices played a role, but the first quarter of 2022 was also relatively warmer than the same quarter in 2021. "The latter mainly has a dampening effect on the natural gas consumption in the built-up environment." This category includes homes and offices. High energy prices also lowered consumption, according to CBS.
More and more electricity is generated from sustainable sources like the sun and wind. But more coal was burned at the beginning of this year. Overall emissions from electricity production fell by 14 percent.
The Netherlands also used more petrol (plus 4 percent) and diesel (plus 8 percent) in the first quarter of this year than in the first three months of 2021. But the total emissions from mobility are still lower than before the pandemic.
CBS pointed out that the economy has grown strongly. The gross domestic product increased by 7 percent compared to the first quarter of last year. Therefore, economic growth and more CO2 emissions do not have to go hand in hand. “Production was significantly higher for almost all sectors of the economy, while CO2 emissions were lower,” CBS summarized.