Air emissions

The air emissions accounts (AEA) record greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants by economic activity. In contrast to Switzerland’s greenhouse gas inventory drawn up in line with the Kyoto Protocol, or the Federal Office for the Environment’s (FOEN) emissions inventory from the UN-EU Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), the AEA are based on the same principles as the National accounts (NA). This enables a coherent link to be made between economic and environmental data. It does, however, create disparities between the inventories and the AEA.

  1990 2000 2018
Greenhouse gas emissions of the economy 38.1 million t of CO2-eq. 40.0 million t of CO2-eq. 40.7 million t of CO2-eq.
   Primary sector 20% 18% 17%
   Secondary sector 48% 45% 45%
   Tertiary sector 32% 37% 38%
Greenhouse gas emissions of households 23.5 million t of CO2-eq. 23.0 million t of CO2-eq. 19.7 million t of CO2-eq.
   Transport 40% 45% 51%
   Heating and other 60% 55% 49%
Source: FSO – Environmental accounting

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 equivalents depending on their global warming potential (GWP). For example, 1 kg of CH4 equals 25 kg of CO2 and 1 kg of N2O equals 298 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.


Statistical sources and concepts


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



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