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Energy sector greenhouse gas emissions: new data

Thursday, 03 July 2003 Media Statement

Energy sector greenhouse gas emissions: new data

Greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand's energy sector continue to grow, according to the latest available statistics.

The report New Zealand Energy Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2002, released today, shows that the energy sector's gross carbon dioxide emissions grew by 2.7 percent from 2001 to 2002. Average annual growth since 1990 was 2.4 percent.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand is obliged to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels, on average, over 2008-2012, or take responsibility for emissions above that level.

“These figures emphasise the challenge we face in halting growth in emissions and securing a reduction in the long term," said the Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

Of the energy sector's carbon dioxide emissions, 45 percent came from domestic transport, 21 percent from industry and 18 percent from thermal electricity generation.

Carbon dioxide emissions from domestic transport grew by 10 percent from 2001-2002, reflecting higher petrol and diesel consumption. The average increase since 1990 was 3.9 percent a year.

International comparisons in the report show that amongst 23 OECD countries New Zealand's per capita emissions were relatively low, but it had the second highest percentage increase in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990-2000.

"New Zealand needs to break the link between economic growth and escalating fossil fuel use," Mr Hodgson said. "That is why we have the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy, energy policy initiatives to encourage renewables, climate change policies to provide incentives for emission reduction and a commitment under the Transport Strategy to improve the efficiency of road and rail networks, promote alternatives to roads and reduce traffic growth.

The report is available at http://www.med.govt.nz/ers/en_stats/green2002/
A summary is attached.

ENDS

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