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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Household greenhouse gas emissions grow by 11.8 percent – Media release

10 June 2020

Between 2007 and 2018, direct greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand households grew by 11.8 percent (over 1 megatonne), Stats NZ said today.

“As a result, New Zealand households contributed 12 percent of New Zealand’s total emissions in 2018,” environmental-economic accounts manager Stephen Oakley said.

This contribution is approaching that of manufacturing industries, which contributed 13.2 percent to emissions.

“Household emissions grew slightly faster than the increase in the number of households, which was up 11.0 percent over the same period, suggesting that since 2007 households have become slightly less efficient at managing their emissions.”

Household use of vehicles was the main contributor to this increase (up 12.8 percent between 2007–18), with increased vehicle use relating to domestic tourism accounting for around 30 percent of this increase.

Industries and households emitted 81 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2018, a 1.1 percent decrease since 2007

The small decrease in emissions since 2007 was driven by electricity, gas, water, and waste services; and mining, but was largely offset by increases from households (1,033 kilotonnes), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (653 kilotonnes), construction (551 kilotonnes), and manufacturing (491 kilotonnes). Emissions from agriculture increased by 1.0 percent (394 kilotonnes) from 2007, but saw a significant shift in contributing industries as production shifted from sheep to dairy cattle.

Emissions from tourism (which includes activities from industries such as transport, accommodation, and food and beverage services), increased 845 kilotonnes (16.3 percent) between 2007 and 2018. Tourism contributed 5.8 percent of GDP in the year ended March 2019 and 7.4 percent of emissions in the year ended December 2018.

Text alternative for Household and selected industry contributions to total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, 2007–18

Across all industries, emissions intensity decreased 2.4 percent a year

Total industry emissions intensity (emissions in relation to GDP) decreased from 2007–18 as emissions fell by 0.2 percent a year while GDP increased by 2.2 percent a year.

“Despite this decrease in emissions intensity, there has been significant variation in whether and how industries are changing their emissions profile, although no industries have showed decreasing levels of economic activity along with increasing emissions,” Mr Oakley said.

Agriculture, which contributed 49 percent of emissions in 2018, showed growth in emissions of 0.1 percent a year while its economic activity grew 1.4 percent a year. Emissions from mining declined 2.6 percent a year, more than its rate of economic activity, which declined 1.2 percent a year.

Manufacturing and construction emissions increased 0.4 percent a year and 5.5 percent a year respectively, exceeding their rates of economic activity. These industries contributed 13.2 and 1.5 percent of emissions in 2018 respectively. Growth in renewable energy during the 2007–18 period contributed to the electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry increasing its economic activity while reducing emissions.

Industries including retail trade; telecommunications, financial, rental, professional, and administrative services; and health care and social assistance showed increased levels of economic activity while emissions decreased. Emissions and economic activity both increased for industries including transport, postal, and warehousing, wholesale trade, and government and defence.

Text alternative for Annual average growth in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and economic activity by industry, 2007–18

In 2018, service industries contributed 65 percent of GDP but only 11.2 percent of emissions. By contrast, primary industries (which includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining) contributed 6.8 percent of GDP and 53 percent of emissions. Goods-producing industries (which includes manufacturing; electricity, gas, water, and waste services; and construction) contributed 24 percent to emissions and 19.4 percent to GDP.

About the data

The release Greenhouse gases (industry and household): Year ended 2018 includes estimates for 114 industries, up from 21 industries last year, and households, as well as tourism as a cross-cutting industry. The additional detail gives a fuller picture of the industrial sources of our emissions profile.

Data are available to the year ended 2018 due to the availability of input data from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Stats NZ are exploring the feasibility of producing more timely estimates on a quarterly basis.

See related page Greenhouse gas emissions (industry and household): Year ended 2018 for more detailed data, explanations of what is reported on, and details of how the data was collected.

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Household and selected industry contributions to total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions: 2007–18

Stacked column graph shows the contributions of selected industries to total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, for the years 2007 to 2018. Kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are on the vertical axis and years are on the horizontal axis. Emissions for selected industries are stacked on top of each other to show total emissions for each year. Percentage contributions, of each industry, to total emissions are displayed.

Selected industry contributions to total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions movements as follows:

  • Industry: sheep, beef cattle, and grain farming contributed 29 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this decreased to 26 percent.
  • Industry: dairy cattle farming contributed 16 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this increased to 20 percent.
  • Industry: Manufacturing contributed 12 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this increased to 13 percent.
  • Households contributed 11 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this increased to 12 percent.
  • Industry: Electricity, gas, water, and waste services contributed 14 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this decreased to 9 percent.
  • Industry: Transport, postal, and warehousing contributed 7 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this remained at 7 percent.
  • The rest of the economy segment includes all remaining industries. This group contributed 11 percent to total New Zealand emissions in 2007. In 2018 this remained at 11 percent.

Annual average growth in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions and economic activity by industry, 2007–18

Bubble chart shows annual growth in economic activity (in percentage change) on the vertical axis and annual growth in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (in percentage change) on the horizontal axis.

There are 16 bubbles in the chart, each representing an industry. The size of a bubble reflects an industry’s contribution to emissions in 2018.

There are four quadrants in the diagram.

Industries in the top-left quadrant are those where economic activity increased while carbon dioxide equivalent emissions decreased (electricity, gas, water, and waste services; telecommunications, financial, rental, professional, and administrative services; retail trade; health care and social assistance; education and training; and arts, recreation, and other services).

Industries in the top-right quadrant experienced an increase in both economic activity and emissions (agriculture; manufacturing; transport, postal, and warehousing; construction; Government and defence; fishing, aquaculture and agriculture, forestry and fishing support services; forestry and logging; wholesale trade; and accommodation and food services).

One industry is in the bottom-left quadrant. This is showing an industry that has a decrease in economic activity and carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (mining).

The bottom-right quadrant indicates industries that have decreasing economic activity with increasing emissions of carbon dioxide equivalents. There are no industries in this quadrant.

MIL OSI