Dutch industry reduced CO2 emissions 8% last year; Biggest decrease in 15 years
Dutch businesses that fall under the European emissions trading system (EU ETS) significantly reduced their CO2 emissions last year. The industry even achieved the biggest decrease in 15 years at -8.3 percent, the Netherlands Emissions Authority (NEa) reported. However, the NEa added that the decreased emissions were more due to less production than sustainability measures.
The 330 companies that fall under the ETS are responsible for about half of the Netherlands’ total CO2 emissions. Last year, they emitted 68.5 million tons (Mton) of CO2, compared to 74.1 Mton in 2021. A “considerable” decrease of 7.6 percent, the NEa said. Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, emissions were almost 20 percent lower.
“We see reflected in these figures that it has been an eventful year for the Dutch industry,” NEa CEO Mark Bressers said. “It is very likely that the decrease was mainly caused by lower production rather than sustainability. It is, therefore, not yet possible to say with certainty what this means for achieving the climate goals in 2030.”
Chemical factories like DOW Chemical, Chemelot, and fertilizer manufacturer Yara, in particular, saw their emissions fall sharply. Bressers pointed out that these companies use a lot of natural gas in their production. “The price of natural gas was high last year, and this has led to lower production in many cases. So it remains to be seen what it means in the longer term.”
The four coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands emitted about the same amount of CO2 last year as in 2021 at 11.7 Mton. They were responsible for 8 percent of the total Dutch CO2 emissions. The government had implemented a ceiling for CO2 emissions by coal power plants on 1 January 2022 but later scrapped it again due to the high gas prices.