Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decrease by 9% in the Netherlands in Q3 2023

In the third quarter of 2023, the Netherlands witnessed a remarkable 9% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the same period in 2022, according to the preliminary quarterly data released by CBS and RIVM/Emissieregistratie. The decline is predominantly attributed to a 37% decrease in CO2 emissions from the electricity sector, driven by a substantial drop in coal-based electricity production.

Key Highlights:

  1. Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The overall emissions in Q3 2023 were 9% lower compared to Q3 2022.
  2. Electricity Sector Emissions: Emissions from the electricity sector saw a significant 37% reduction, primarily due to a 79% decrease in coal-based electricity production. This decrease was compensated by increased production from wind energy (+65%), natural gas (+16%), and solar energy (+13%).
  3. Shift in Electricity Sector’s Share: The share of the electricity sector in total greenhouse gas emissions decreased from 23% in Q3 2022 to over 16% in Q3 2023.
  4. Other Sectors: The mobility and built environment sectors also contributed to the reduction, with emissions dropping by 5% and 19%, respectively, compared to the previous year.
  5. Industrial Emissions: The industrial sector’s greenhouse gas emissions remained nearly the same as in Q3 2022. Although the industry used more natural gas, it reduced its consumption of oil and coal.
  6. Agricultural Emissions: Greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector increased by 6%, mainly due to increased use of warmtekrachtinstallaties (combined heat and power installations) by horticulturists, likely influenced by decreased natural gas prices.
  7. Land Use Emissions: Approximately 3% of greenhouse gas emissions were associated with land use, including CO2 emissions from peat oxidation and emissions related to land-use changes.

CO2 Emissions from the Entire Economy:

The CBS also calculated CO2 emissions from all Dutch economic activities based on national accounts. In Q3 2023, the CO2 emissions from the Dutch economy were 10.5% lower than in the same quarter of 2022. This decrease is mainly attributed to reduced coal usage in the electricity sector.

It’s important to note that weather conditions also influence emissions, with colder weather typically resulting in higher emissions. Adjusting for this effect, the CO2 emission reduction was 8.5%.