New Zealand energy sector greenhouse gas emissions
On this page you can find our data tables for greenhouse gas emissions from the New Zealand energy sector.
Emissions data tables
These files contains the latest data on greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector in New Zealand.
Note: greenhouse gas emissions from coal were revised on 21 March 2019 due to revisions to coal production.
Other emissions data/information
This page includes the most recent data we have available. Other related publications are also available, as outlined below.
Energy Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions report
This publication provides summarised information on human-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from New Zealand's energy sector for the calendar years 1990-2015.
Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions report [PDF, 271 KB]
ISSN 1179-4011 (online)
The report's associated data tables can also be downloaded below:
Greenhouse Gas Inventory submission
For New Zealand's latest complete Greenhouse Gas Inventory submission, see the Ministry for the Environment's website.
Emissions from the energy sector
We are responsible for the reporting of annual emissions from the energy sector. Two types of emissions are produced by this sector — combustion emissions and fugitive emissions.
Combustion emissions result from fuel being burnt to produce useful energy. Examples are emissions from transport, provision of heat to industry, and from thermal electricity generation.
Fugitive emissions result from production, transmission and storage of fuels, and from non-productive combustion. Examples are emissions from the venting of CO2 at the Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant, gas flaring at oil production facilities, and emissions from geothermal fields.
Emissions by fuel type
New Zealand’s energy emissions are dominated by liquid fuels. These account for over half of all energy sector emissions, and have been steadily increasing since 1990. Gas and coal make up most of the remainder, with biomass and fugitive emissions contributing only a small percentage of total energy sector emissions.
Emissions by sector
New Zealand’s energy emissions are dominated by 3 main sectors — national transport, electricity generation and manufacturing industries.
- Emissions from national transport account for the largest share of total energy sector emissions.
- Electricity generation emissions have increased significantly since 1990, although there are large annual variations within this sector. These reflect the cost and availability of hydro generation, which New Zealand relies heavily on.
- Emissions from manufacturing have grown in recent years. The level can vary significantly depending on the level of methanol production, which has historically been a large source of emissions.
These sector breakdowns should be interpreted with caution, as sector splits are not as precise as by fuel type. This is due to difficulties in allocating liquid fuel use to end-uses.
Why we monitor emissions
Like many countries, New Zealand is concerned about the potential adverse effects of climate change. Long-term risks to New Zealand include rising sea levels affecting the coastal environment and infrastructure, reduced agricultural production and adverse effects on native ecosystems and natural resources. New Zealand recognises that climate change is a global challenge, and is involved in international efforts to reduce emissions.
It was in this context that in 1993 New Zealand ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was followed by ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 and the Paris Agreement in 2016.
New Zealand’s current target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Guidance on corporate greenhouse gas emissions reporting
The Ministry for the Environment has produced a reporting guide for organisations who want to voluntarily monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions for their New Zealand operations.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand Licence(external link).