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Carbon footprint

Regional CO2 footprint: local and global

For the FrankfurtRhineMain region, there is a global and a local CO2 balance. The local evaluation only considers direct emissions. Direct emissions are the emissions that arise from the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas, waste incineration, fermentation in biogas plants and sewage gas plants, as well as from the combustion of the fuels gasoline, diesel and kerosene in the region.

In addition to direct emissions, the global evaluation also considers so-called upstream chains. These are emissions that have already been produced during the extraction, mining, transport and processing of the energy sources - the upstream chains. A large part of the electricity required in the region is also imported. The emissions caused by imported electricity generation are also taken into account in the global evaluation.

Data source for 2017: see municipal energy profiles and climate-energy atlas.

CO2 balance: total global emissions of the region

The global balance sheet for 2017 shows:

  • Coal, oil, natural gas and waste incineration account for around 54 percent of the region's total greenhouse gas emissions,
  • the mobility sector for around 26 percent,
  • and electricity, which has to be imported, for about 20 percent.

The global evaluation shows that renewable energies also cause emissions. Among other things, they arise during the extraction of raw materials or during production, for example of a wind turbine or a photovoltaic module. However, their share in total emissions is negligible.

CO2 balance: per capita

Annual per capita emissions in the FrankfurtRhineMain region average 11.7 tons of CO2 equivalents. The basis for this is the global CO2 balance for 2017, divided by the number of people living in the FrankfurtRhineMain region (according to population data for 2017, around 2.429.326). However, this balance only includes greenhouse gas emissions from energy production and consumption. Other emissions, such as those caused by food consumption, are not included. The complete CO2 balance per person is therefore even higher.

CO2 balance: only local direct emissions on site

Only about 63 percent of global emissions are direct emissions in the region. This means that currently around 37 percent of total emissions for energy consumption are generated outside the region. In terms of local emissions, the combustion of coal and natural gas was responsible for most emissions.


Basic knowledge CO2 balance and CO2 equivalents

Carbon footprint

In a CO2 balance all emissions generated by energy consumption are considered. This means that, in addition to CO2, other greenhouse gases released during energy generation are also balanced. The combustion of fossil fuels and combustibles produces mainly CO2. By contrast, energy generation from biogas, for example, mainly releases nitrous oxide and methane.

CO2 equivalents

In the CO2 balance, the total greenhouse gas emissions are stated in tons of CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq) per year. The various gases have a different influence on the greenhouse gas effect. CO2 equivalents serve as a unit of measurement to express the greenhouse gas potential of the individual gases in comparison to CO2 and to indicate the total greenhouse gas emissions.