Data released on Thursday confirmed a reduction in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2021.
New Zealand’s official Greenhouse Gas Inventory shows that gross emissions declined by 0.7 percent in the 12 months to the end of 2021 to 76.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This follows a 3 percent decline in 2020, mostly due to COVID-19.
This shows the government’s actions are working, said Climate Change Minister James Shaw, adding one of the reasons emissions fell in 2021 is the change in land use driven by the government’s freshwater reforms.
Recent quarterly data from the statistics department Stats NZ shows that emissions declined by 3.5 percent in the three months to September 2022, their lowest level in eight years.
A few weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its starkest warning yet that there are only a few years left to take the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, Shaw said. ■