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NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions keep rising

Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Seasonally adjusted greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from New Zealand industries and households rose by 4.8 percent in the June 2021 quarter, following a 1.4 percent increase in the March 2021 quarter, Stats NZ says.

The largest industry contributors to this increase were electricity, gas, water and waste services up 16 percent; transport, postal and warehousing up 19 percent; and agriculture, forestry and fishing up 0.9 percent.

The electricity, gas, water and waste services industry reached a record quarterly level of 2927 kilotonnes of GHG emissions, up 412 kilotonnes on the March 2021 quarter.

This is mainly due to a significant increase in coal use for electricity generation. Manufacturing, and household transport recorded the largest decreases in this quarter, down 2.6 percent (73 kilotonnes) and 0.2 percent (six kilotonnes) respectively.

For the first time, Stats NZ has produced emissions estimates by household activities, such as transport, and for heating and cooling, allowing us to see household emission sources.

Emissions from household transport dipped slightly from the March quarter but are still a substantial component, contributing more than 90 percent of total household emissions.

The majority of industrial and household GHG emissions were carbon dioxide (51 percent), followed by methane (37 percent), nitrous oxide (10 percent), and fluorinated gases (2.2 percent).

In the year ended June 2021, the New Zealand economy emitted 82,681 kilotonnes of GHGs down 1.9 percent when compared with the pre-covid June 2019 year value of 84,307 kilotonnes.

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