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Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Latest Data

The latest annual report on New Zealand's energy sector greenhouse gas emissions shows a 2 percent increase in gross carbon dioxide emissions between 1999 and 2000.

Overall New Zealand's gross carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the energy and industrial process sectors have increased by 22 percent between 1990 and 2000. This compares with 20 percent growth from 1990-1999. Average growth over 1990-2000 was 2 percent a year. Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas worldwide.

"This data demonstrates the size of the challenge faced by New Zealand in meeting its climate change commitments," said Energy Minister Pete Hodgson. "Improving our poor energy efficiency record must be the first step in containing the growth in emissions and that is the focus of the draft National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy."

New Zealand is obliged under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2008-2012, or take responsibility for emissions above that level.

The report New Zealand Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2000, released today, shows that gross CO2 emissions were 25.5 million tonnes in 1990 and 31.1 million tonnes in 2000. Over 90 percent of these emissions came from the energy sector, which includes domestic transport and thermal electricity generation. The rest came from industrial processes such as steel, aluminium and cement manufacturing.

About 44 percent of gross CO2 emissions come from the transport sector (excluding international transport), and 18 percent from electricity generation. Emissions from thermal electricity generation decreased by 7 percent in 2000 compared to 1999, due to increased hydro generation possible through sufficiently high lake inflows in 2000. This is expected to be reversed this year.

"The report shows that, internationally, New Zealand is in the middle to lower end of the range in gross CO2 emissions per capita," Mr Hodgson said. "In 1998, the last year for which such data is available, New Zealand's emissions of CO2 were about 8 tonnes per capita. In comparison, those of the United States exceeded 20 tonnes per capita."

The report is available at


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