Lithuania’s CO2 emissions

2 min read


Khaled Madkour

Senior Carbon Footprint, Sustainability, and Environmental Expert, assistant professor at Ain Shams University

Lithuania officially known as the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest. Lithuania covers an area of 65,300 km2 (25,200 sq mi), with a population of 2.8 million. Its capital and largest city are Vilnius; other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda.  

Lithuania is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy, ranking very high in the Human Development Index. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the International Monetary Fund, the Nordic-Baltic Eight, the Nordic Investment Bank.

Lithuania has an open and mixed economy that is classified as a high-income economy by the World Bank. According to data from 2016, the three largest sectors in the Lithuanian economy are – services (68.3% of GDP), industry (28.5%), and agriculture (3.3%). World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report ranks Lithuania 41st, this inevitably entails an increasing level of CO2 emissions in Lithuania. This article describes the level of CO2 emissions in Lithuania in detail and elaborates on various factors determining it.

CO2 emissions in Lithuania per capita

How much GHG does an average person in Lithuania emit? This number is not only the sum of emissions from individual commuting, shopping, or energy use. In terms of calculating the average emissions of a citizen, first, we need to calculate the total emissions of a country (including the entire industry, transport, and production) and divide this figure by the number of its inhabitants.

An average Lithuanian person emits about 13.4 kg CO2 into the atmosphere daily. Annual CO2 emissions in Lithuania per capita sum up to about 4.89 tonnes, Lithuania still needs to work harder on reducing.

The Lithuanian carbon footprint was 13.7 million tons CO2e in 2018. The Transportation sector represents 40.5% of the total CO2e emissions in Lithuania by about 5.55 million tons co2e, followed by the Agriculture sector which represents 38.7% of the total emissions in the country by about 5.3 million tons co2e. Electricity and Heat represent the third sector contributing to Lithuania’s co2 emissions with 17.2% by 2.35 million tons co2e in 2018.

What constitutes our CO2 emissions? There are many factors, the most important of which are industry, transport, and energy production. The average Lithuanian person is aware of the fact that humanity has to take action if we want to protect our climate: most Lithuanian citizens admit that the situation on Earth is serious and requires immediate action. However, to the same question, few Lithuanian citizens answered that they are not sure about the human impact on climate change – we hope that this article will at least slightly change the point of view of the latter part of respondents.

CO2 emissions of Lithuania transport section

Most Lithuanians don’t have cars, Utilizing Lithuania’s mass transportation system is easy, affordable, and far safer than driving. Furthermore, Buses are the primary public transportation in the country.

Road transport and Cycling in Lithuania

Cycling is not popular among Lithuanians although it’s gaining popularity.

Is cycling completely CO2-free? Unfortunately, not. A bicycle doesn’t run on petrol, but we do need to provide our bodies with calories to get it moving. Food, its packaging, transportation, and refrigeration – all of these, unfortunately, leave a carbon footprint. Additionally, the production of a bicycle also leaves a carbon footprint. Nonetheless, the bicycle remains the greenest (and healthiest!) mode of transportation mankind has yet invented. How much CO2 do we save by cycling? Over a distance of 10 km compared to a car ride it is already about 2.6 kg CO2! Just imagine how huge a cloud of gas should become to be that heavy! Visualizing it helps realize how huge the real savings are.

Energy sources in Lithuania

Renewable energy sources in Lithuania

Lithuania has large wind power stations. In 2016, electricity production in Lithuania was comprised of 36.4% wind power, 2.11% from photovoltaic solar panels, while 14% of the electricity production was coming from hydropower. In total, renewable energy production (wind, photovoltaic, and biomass) amounted to 70% while fossil fuels amounted to 30% of the total electricity production in Lithuania[v].

Industry in Lithuania

Lithuania is a post-industrial society with some two-thirds of the population working in the service sector. The largest industries in Lithuania are oil refinement, fertilizer manufacturing, and Processed and unprocessed food.

Future plans for CO2 reducing and offsetting

The average co2 emissions per capita in Lithuania was about 4.89 tons co2e in 2018, meaning that every Lithuanian citizen has an opportunity to contribute to reducing the climate change impacts by changing some habits which impact on increasing the co2 emissions. the average electricity consumption per capita was about 4057 kwh/year in Lithuania, Lithuanian citizens can reduce their emissions by about 0.235 tons co2e by reducing the electricity consumption by 50% or using a renewable source of electricity. In Lithuania, Trains are the most popular form of transport, So if the individual takes a decision to still take a Bus/Train instead of riding his vehicle, he will reduce his daily emissions. some minor changes can result in a huge effect.