Nature and the environment;National accounts and business cycles;Nature and the environment

Emissions from Norwegian economic activity1992-2017


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Emissions from Norwegian economic activity
Topic: Nature and the environment

Next release

Responsible division

Division for National Accounts

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Air emissions
The economic and environmental accounts statistics give an overview of a number of different emissions components:

Greenhouse gases
Carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (N2O), methane (CH4), PFCs (perfluorocarbons), HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), and SF6. Total emissions of greenhouse gases are calculated by adding up emissions for each component given in CO2-equivalents. Emissions in CO2-equivalents are estimated by multiplying each emission component with it's specific Global Warming Potential (GWP) conversion factor. The GWP factors for the three major gases CO2, CH4 and N2O, are 1, 21 and 310, respectively. For more information on specific GWP factors, please go to the about the statistics description in the left-hand margin in the air emissions statistics .

Acidifying gases
Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ammonia (NH3). Total emissions of gases contributing to acidification, are given by the sum of each emission type given in potential acid equivalents (PAE). PAE for each gas is calculated by multiplying the emissions with a gas specific conversion factor. The conversion factors are for NOx 1/46, SO2 1/32 and NH3 1/17 (Potential Acid Equivalents).

Ozone precursors
Nitrogen oxides (NOX), NMVOC (non-methane volatile organic carbons), carbon dioxide (CO), and methane (CH4). Total emissions of ozone precursors are found by calculating the Tropospheric Ozone Forming Potentials (TOPF) in NMVOC equivalents for each component before adding the emissions together. The TOPF factors are: NOx = 1.22, NMVOC = 1, CO = 0.11 and CH4 = 0.014.

Heavy metals
Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), and mercury (Hg).

Other components
Polycyclic organic hydrocarbons (PAH-4), Particles (dust) (PM10 and PM2,5), and dioxin.

For more information about air emissions, see Focus on Climate and air pollution.

National accounts
The national accounts statistics are designed to provide a consistent and comprehensive survey of the national economy. The national accounts contain national aggregates, and give detailed descriptions of transactions between different sectors of the economy, including the rest of the world. The structure of the National Accounts is based on the international standards SNA 1993 and ESA 1995. These standards define the contents for the production of national accounts statistics. The National Accounts give many details about production by industry and product, as well as the uses of the products. Statistics Norway regularly produces input-output tables that can be combined with the emission data.

See Concepts and definitions in the National Accounts and Focus on the National Accounts for further information regarding the national accounts.

Pollution intensity
The pollution intensity is measured as emissions units (pollution) per NOK value added or output, and is calculated in this set of statistics by dividing the emissions from the specific industry by the value added or output from that same industry. Pollution intensity is a general concept covering all kinds of pollution. One can also, in the case of air emissions, use the term emissions intensity or even air emissions intensity .

An industry having a high emissions intensity, pollutes allot compared to the value added or output of that industry. An improvement in the emissions intensity, therefore, means lower values and/or a declining graph.

Politically, the aim of the environmental policy in Norway, is that even if the economy continues to grow, the pollution should be reduced, either in absolute or relative values. In other words, one seeks for a development where the economic development and environmental development is disconnected. The term commonly used for this is "decoupling" .

Standard classifications

Based on NACE rev. 1.1 classification, and published according to the groups used in the quarterly national accounts.

Administrative information

Regional level

Values are published for the country as a whole.

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Annual
Timeliness: In May year "t" final figures for economic and environmental accounts for t-3 are published, while preliminary figures for t-2 are published. The whole time series for air emissions is recalculated annually when new information makes this relevant.

International reporting

Eurostat (European Union's statistical office).


Not relevant


Background and purpose

The goal of the environment and economic accounts is to give a consistent and comprehensive picture of the environmental consequences due to the economic activity of units that are resident in Norway. A unit is resident in a country when the centre of economic interest belongs within the country's economic territory.

The NOREEA (Norwegian Economic and Environment Accounts) project was the basis for the development of these statistics, and was financed by the EU Commission and the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. The statistics was published for the first time in 2002. Currently statistics have been established that link economic statistics and air emissions statistics. More environmental domains will be included in the future (i.e. energy and waste).

Users and applications

The data are used for analyses that combine emissions and economic information. Industry sector profiles, changes over time, decoupling of emissions from economic activity and emissions intensities can all be obtained from these time series. The data set can also be used as the basis for other types of analyses, including input-output analyses and decomposition studies. Among the users of the statistics are Eurostat, UNFCCC and the Ministry of the Environment.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

Obtaining a harmonized data set that includes both the national accounts and the air emissions accounts is the major focus of these linked accounts. The air emissions accounts and reporting is most commonly according to a geographic or territorial definition of Norway whereas the national accounts uses an economic activity definition of Norway. The air emissions data need to be adjusted to correspond to the economic definition. In Norway, the difference between these two definitions is primarily due to ocean transport and international air transport. The emissions from international shipping and international air transport are not usually included in the territorial defined air emissions accounts but they are included here so that there is better correspondence with the National Accounts' economic definition of Norway (i.e. the economic activity of units that are resident in Norway). There are other small differences but they are not as important as ocean transport and international air transport.

Legal authority

No separate data collection.

EEA reference

Not relevant



In the economic and environmental accounts, the statistics from the air emissions accounts are combined with statistics from the national accounts. The categories are harmonised so that data can be easily combined. For this purpose, we make use of an economic definition of Norway, contrary to the geographic definition that is used in the official statistics on air emissions.

The population of the national accounts is defined according to international guidelines described in the System of National Accounts (SNA 1993) published by the UN, OECD, IMF, World Bank and the European Commission and the European System of Accounts (ESA 1995).

See the annual national accounts and the quarterly national accounts for more information about the national accounts.

See the air emissions accounts for more information.

Data sources and sampling

The data sources that are used in the environmental and economic accounts are already published figures at Statistics Norway for air emissions and the annual and quarterly national accounts. More environmental domains (i.e. energy and waste ) will included in the future.

The air emissions accounts are described in detail in Aasestad, Kristin (2007) .

Statistics from many areas are utilized in the national accounts. These include structural business statistics, public accounts, wage statistics, price statistics, foreign trade statistics, household surveys and employment surveys. Some parts of the national accounts are constructed more or less directly from other statistics, while other parts are based heavily on calculations and estimations.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

As part of the work with the economic and environmental accounts, controls are undertaken to ensure that the data are consistent with already published figures for air emissions and the annual and quarterly national accounts. There is no additional control of primary data. The primary statistics are submitted to fixed revision routines at the divisions publishing the air emission accounts and the national accounts.

The emissions and energy use data reported directly to Statistics Norway and the results from the emission inventory are submitted to an extensive amount of quality control. The data for air emissions go through a thorough quality control. These controls are used in relation to directly reported emissions from specific sites and to energy use (reported by establishments directly to via the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority) and finally to the results from the model calculations. The primary statistics data from Statistics Norway, are however not submitted to any additional control, since this is taken care of by the ordinary revision routines for these statistics.

The revision and quality control that is performed in the development of the emissions accounts can be divided into to steps:

  • revision/quality control of the various data reported (for example the reporting of emissions from establishments obtained from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority)
  • revision/quality control of the end results after the model has been run.

Control and revision of the National accounts are undertaken by the ordinary routines for revision of primary statistics. The basic statistics from specific areas are, however, re-worked according to the specific needs of the national accounts. In areas where the statistics are insufficient, the statistics are based on calculations and estimates.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


Not relevant

Comparability over time and space

Comparable national accounts data exist for every year back until 1970. These data are consistent with the standards SNA 1993 and ESA 1995. Comparable emissions data exist back until 1990.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

See general comments on sources of error and uncertainty under section 5.0.

See general comments on sources of error and uncertainty under section 5.0.

See general comments on sources of error and uncertainty under section 5.0.

See general comments on sources of error and uncertainty under section 5.0.


Not relevant