Greenhouse gas emissions

In 2016, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 116.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease.

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Greenhouse gas emissions - Belgium

million tonnes CO2 equivalent

//: Average Growth Rates

National Climate Commission (2018), National greenhouse gas inventories, (consulted on 04/10/2018).

Greenhouse gas emissions - EU28

billion tonnes CO2 equivalent

//: Average Growth Rates

EEA (2018), Greenhouse gases viewer, (consulted on 04/10/2018).

Greenhouse gas emissions - Belgium and international comparison

tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita

//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2018), Greenhouse gases emissions (source EEA) [sdg_13_10] (consulted on 05/12/2018).

Definition: the net greenhouse gas emissions measure the total net emissions on the Belgian territory. The considered greenhouse gases are those from the Kyoto protocol (UNFCCC, 1997): carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and fluorinated gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3) that are not included in the Montreal Protocol (UNEP, 1987). Emissions are net emissions: the emissions and absorption of the LUCLUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) sector, such as the CO2 absorption by trees, are taken into account. The indicator is expressed in millions of tons of CO2 equivalent (Mt CO2-eq.). The data come from the national inventories on greenhouse gas emissions and from the European Environment Agency.

To compare the EU28 Member States, the total gross emissions per inhabitant are used. These are published by Eurostat for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (Eurostat, 2018).

Goal: greenhouse gas emissions must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include goal 13: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts".

The federal long-term strategic vision for sustainable development contains objective 31: “Belgian greenhouse gas emissions should decrease by at least 80 to 95 % by 2050 compared to the 1990 level” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: in 2016, Belgian greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 10.8 CO2-eq./inhabitant. These emissions are above the EU28 average (8.7t/inhabitant). When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the poorest performance in 2016.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to goal 13. The fight against climate change requires a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: (consulted on 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).