Sustainable Development Goals updates: The Netherlands vs Germany

januari 30, 2024

This week’s article aims to bring awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and to provide an update on the progress in The Netherlands vs Germany. For this article, SDG 13 – Climate Change will be discussed.

Sustainable Development Goal number 13 seeks to address human-induced climate change. Following the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations pledged to limit global warming to under two degrees by 2050. Achieving this goal requires a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2022, the Dutch government allocated 0.4 percent of the GDP towards initiatives aimed at mitigating the country’s impact on climate change. The medium-term trend from 2015 to 2022 indicates a positive increase, contributing to overall well-being. Preliminary calculations by CBS and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)/National Emissions Register reveal that greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands were 31.6 percent lower in 2022 compared to 1990. This surpasses the Urgenda reduction target by almost 7 percentage points, set at a minimum of 25 percent reduction from 1990. Although the emissions in 2022 exceeded the Urgenda target, they fell short of the goal in 2021 by a small margin, while in 2020, the reduction was 1 percentage point higher than the target. The per capita greenhouse gas emissions trend is declining, with the first provisional calculations indicating 8.6 tons of CO2 equivalents emitted per capita in 2022. While this decline is positive for well-being, the Netherlands still holds a relatively high position in greenhouse gas emissions compared to other EU countries, ranking 22nd out of 27 in 2020. In 2020, among 16 EU countries with available data, the Netherlands ranked 13th. However, the greenhouse gas intensity of the economy, measured as emissions per euro of GDP, is decreasing, which is favorable for overall well-being. Over a more extended period, economic growth has shown a decoupling from environmental air emissions; the GDP volume grew by 91 percent between 1990 and 2022, while air emissions decreased.

Simultaneously, the revenue generated from Germany’s European and national emissions trading system reached a record high, surpassing 18 billion euros in 2023. This marks a substantial growth of approximately 40 percent compared to the previous record of 13 billion euros in 2022, as reported by the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) at the German Environment Agency (UBA). All funds obtained will be directed to the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF), a crucial financing tool contributing significantly to Germany’s energy and climate policy objectives. Germany has successfully maintained its greenhouse gas reduction levels, fully meeting the European emission reduction targets. Detailed data on greenhouse gas emissions for 2022 reveals that Germany emitted around 750 million tons of CO₂ equivalent, showing a decrease of 9.6 million tons (1.3%) from 2021 and a substantial 40 percent reduction compared to 1990. Notably, the energy sector experienced an increase, while emissions decreased in the industry and building sectors, as outlined in the Climate Protection Act. In the non-emissions trading sector, encompassing primarily transport and buildings, Germany met its target under the European Union’s Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) in 2022, emitting approximately 395 million tons of CO₂ equivalent. Transport emissions rose by 2 percent in 2022, primarily attributed to road transport, with a decrease in heavy goods vehicles and buses but an increase in cars and light commercial vehicles. Despite significant declines during the pandemic, domestic air traffic emissions also increased notably, contributing 0.3 million tons of CO₂ equivalent. The Climate Protection Act’s sector target for transport continues to be exceeded. In contrast, emissions in the buildings sector decreased by 8.8 million tons of CO₂ equivalent or 7.4 percent, largely due to savings from high gas prices in 2022. Despite this reduction, the Climate Protection Act’s sector target for the buildings sector was surpassed.

To conclude, both countries are constantly contributing to achieving the SDGs according to the Paris Treaty, however, there is still a long way to go.

 

References

Statistics Netherlands . (2023). SDG 13 Climate action. Preluat de pe Statistics Netherlands : https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/dossier/dossier-well-being-and-the-sustainable-development-goals/monitor-of-well-being-and-the-sustainable-development-goals-2023/the-sustainable-development-goals-in-the-monitor-of-well-being/sdg-s/sdg-13-climate-action

Umwelt Bundesamt. (2024, Januray 15). Detailed greenhouse gas emissions figures for 2022: Emissions fell by 40 per cent compared to 1990 – EU climate protection targets met. Preluat de pe Umwelt Bundesamt Press Releases : https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/detailed-greenhouse-gas-emissions-figures-for-2022

Umwelt Bundesamt. (2024, January 04). New record revenue in emissions trading: More than 18 billion euros for climate protection. Preluat de pe Umwelt Bundesamt Press Releases : https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/new-record-revenue-in-emissions-trading-more-than

 

Photo:
https://res-1.cloudinary.com/the-university-of-melbourne/image/upload/s–TVP-zG1e–/c_fill,f_auto,h_630,q_75,w_1200/v1/pursuit-uploads/e3b/5fd/a6a/e3b5fda6a8a4a92bcffef241933d499dc52073eb1230de3a6bba29557c40.jpg

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