Press release: 12.632-223/21

Emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases reduced overall since 1995; emissions of climate-relevant CO2 and ammonia slightly rose

Vienna, 2021-10-08 – Between 1995 and 2019, the Austrian emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases were reduced considerably, as Statistics Austria reports.

"Since 1995, emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases in Austria have decreased, in some cases sharply. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in climate-impacting CO2 emissions. However, at 5.0%, the increase in CO2 was considerably less pronounced than the 54.3% rise in economic output over the same period. More energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energies have led to a relative decoupling of economic growth from CO2 emissions in Austria," says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

The highest decreases were achieved for sulphur dioxide (SO2; -73.2%), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC; -54.4%) as well as carbon monoxide (CO; -46.8%). But also emissions of methane (CH4; -35.0%), nitrous oxide (N2O; -18.0%), nitrogen oxide (NOx; -16.7%), and particulate matter in the form of PM2.5 (-35.0%) and PM10 (-25.7%) were significantly reduced. However, there were increases in climate-relevant CO2 emissions (+5.0%) as well as ammonia (NH3; +0.8%).

Both households and the economy show decreases in most air emissions. Households reduced all observed air emissions and greenhouse gases considerably – except for CO2 from other sources (+2.3%). In the economy, however, emissions of climate-relevant CO2 rose by 15.2%, those of NH3 grew by 2.5% and those of NOx by 8.0% since 1995. The increase of CO2 emissions can be explained by a high rise (+27.4%) in CO2 emissions from other sources than combustion processes (like processes in iron and steel production or the transformation of limestone into cement clinker in cement production). However, the use of renewable, carbon neutral energy carriers is rising in the Austrian economy: Between 1995 and 2019, CO2 emissions from biogenic sources increased by 194.9%.

For more detailed results and further information concerning statistics on air emissions and greenhouse gases please refer to our website.

Information on methods, definitions: These results were calculated by Statistics Austria considering only emissions caused by persons living in Austria as well as enterprises and institutions registered in Austria. In contrast to this, the Environment Agency Austria compiles – within the framework of international reporting obligations (UNFCCC, UNECE CLRTAP) – the Austrian Air Emission Inventory, where air emissions are reported that are caused in Austria, independently of the polluters´ origin. Environment Agency Austria's Annual Air Emission Inventory also forms the basis for the Air Emission Accounts.

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Manuela STRASSER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7184 resp. and 
Sacha BAUD, Tel. +43 1 71128-7304 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777