You are here
Home > News > NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions fall 1.8  percent

NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions fall 1.8  percent


Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Seasonally adjusted greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased 1.8 percent or 340 kilotonnes in the December 2022 quarter, according to the latest Stats NZ figures.

The fall in emissions was driven by the electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry, the manufacturing industry, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing, Stats NZ environmental economic accounts manager Stephen Oakley said.

“Quarterly emissions statistics provide timely estimates of New Zealand’s gross emissions produced by industries, as part of their production processes, and by households, through their use of things like private vehicles and heating.

“In the December 2022 year, industrial emissions accounted for 88.5 percent of total emissions with households contributing the remaining 11.5 percent.”

Emissions from the electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry decreased 18.9 percent (285 kilotonnes) in the December 2022 quarter, following a 25.4 percent reduction (513 kilotonnes) in the September quarter.

“The fall in quarterly emissions was largely driven by a further increase in the proportion of renewable energy sources being used to generate electricity, and the corresponding drop in the share of fossil fuels being used for this purpose,” Oakley says.

“Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment statistics show that the share of renewable energy sources increased to 94.7 percent in December 2022, a level not seen in decades, with a historically low proportion of gas and coal being used to generate electricity.”

The electricity, gas, water, and waste services emissions series, which began in March 2014, fell to its lowest recorded level.

Manufacturing industry emissions declined for the third quarter in a row. In the September 2022 quarter, emissions reached their lowest recorded level since the series started in March 2014. In the December 2022 quarter, they dropped a further 7.5 percent (165 kilotonnes) to 2027 kilotonnes.

“The largest contributor to the fall in manufacturing emissions this quarter was from the primary metal and metal product manufacturing industry,” Oakley said.

Manufacturing activity, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), fell 2.1 percent in the December 2022 quarter.

Emissions from agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries decreased 1.3 percent (132 kilotonnes) this quarter after increasing 0.9 percent last quarter. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing activity, as measured by GDP, fell 0.7 percent in the December 2022 quarter.

Household emissions decreased 1.9 percent (41 kilotonnes) in the December 2022 quarter, driven by a 2.5 percent (49 kilotonnes) fall in private transport emissions. Household emissions include the use of private vehicles for transport, but do not include emissions associated with households taking flights or using public transport – these are picked up as industrial emissions from the transport industry.

Household emissions have risen 8.9 percent since the quarterly time series began in March 2014. However, over the same period, average emissions per household fell as the total number of households increased at a faster rate than total household emissions.

For the year to December 2022, GHG emissions fell 3.1 percent (2,369 kilotonnes). The most significant contributors to this fall were the electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry, manufacturing, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Annual emissions from the transport, postal, and warehousing services industry have increased 18.0 percent (801 kilotonnes) since December 2021 but remain some way below their pre-COVID-19 levels.

The next release of quarterly GHG emissions (industry and household) in October will include statistics from the March and June 2023 quarters. As a result, future releases will be timelier and follow a similar release schedule to Stats NZ’s other quarterly statistics, such as GDP.