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This is how much CO₂ German households burn – statistics of the week

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This is how much CO₂ German households burn – statistics of the week

In a time of increasing environmental awareness, CO2 emissions from heating play a key role in one’s personal ecological footprint. Data from the Federal Statistical Office show that it is not motorized individual transport, but rather space heating that accounts for the highest proportion of private CO2 emissions when both direct and indirect emissions are considered.


However, emissions generated by heating have fallen by around 12 percent over the last 20 years. More modern and efficient heating technologies are crucial for reducing greenhouse gases. The effects of the energy crisis caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine are not yet visible in the Destatis data series. But they and the new heating law will also have a noticeable influence in the future.

(Image: Statista)

A look at the distribution of CO2 emissions from private households shows that space heating accounts for the lion’s share at 48.1 percent, followed by motorized individual transport at 33.7 percent. Smaller items include, for example, the production of hot water (8.2 percent) or the operation of electrical appliances (5.3 percent). When heat is generated using electricity, it is primarily indirect emissions that arise in the power plant that are included in the bill.




In our weekly column we present numbers, curves and diagrams from technology and science.

The energy source with the highest environmental impact in Germany in 2020 was gas – private households generated around 64 million tons of carbon dioxide by heating with gas. Wood and biomass follow with around 48 million tons, mineral oil and electricity are on par with 36 million tons each. At two million tons, coal is the smallest item because only a few households are heated directly with coal, not because it is particularly environmentally friendly.


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