Air emissions

The Air Emissions Accounts (AEA) record greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions by economic activity - according to the same principles as in the National accounts (NA). This establishes a coherent link of economic data with environmental data, but results in deviations from the emission statistics of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) (cf. the methodological notes below).

Further information





Data from the Air Emission Accounts (AEA) are part of the environmental accounting produced by the Federal Statistical Office. The Methodology was developed by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, on the basis of the UN’s System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA).

The AEA are composite statistics based on different data sources. The main sources are Switzerland’s greenhouse gas inventory in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol and the Federal Office for the Environment’s (FOEN) emissions inventory from the UN-EU Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).

Because of adjustments made to ensure consistency with National accounts (NA), the results differ from those found in the CO2 act, in Switzerland’s greenhouse gas inventory in the Kyoto Protocol or in the emissions inventory (CLRTAP). These discrepancies stem in particular from the fact that the AEA take account of all emissions generated by economic activities, including those from the combustion of biomass and air transport. In addition, emissions generated abroad by businesses and households resident in Switzerland are also included, while those generated in Switzerland by businesses and households that are not resident in Switzerland are excluded. Because nature is not an economic actor as defined in the national accounts, nature's emissions and absorption are excluded. Emissions generated by the production of imported goods are also excluded.

Emissions from greenhouse gases other than CO2 are converted into CO2 equivalent depending on their global warming potential (GWP). For example, 1 kg of CH4 equals 28 kg of CO2 and 1 kg of N2O equals 265 kg of CO2.

Results are presented by economic activity from the production account of the NA following the enterprise concept. Results by product (homogeneous activities) are available upon request.

The Greenhouse gas footprint cannot be measured directly but has to be modelled. Among the various existing modelling methods, the presented results are based on the Air Emission Accounts, the supply and use tables (SUT) from the National Accounts and the greenhouse gas intensity related to exports from the EU. To obtain the greenhouse gas intensity of other world regions, the factor for the EU is weighted by the ratio of the total greenhouse gas emissions and the gross domestic product (GDP) for the region concerned.

The estimate of the greenhouse gas footprint for years prior to 2008 is based on less complete source data than for the period after.


Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Environment, Sustainable Development, Territory
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel



Our English pages offer only a limited range of information on our statistical production. For our full range please consult our pages in French and German (top right hand screen).