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Te Whanganui-a-Tara – Every part of government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Climate Change minister James Shaw says.

The latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions shows gross and net emissions increased by two percent in the 12 months to the end of 2019.

The Ministry for the Environment’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory is the official annual estimate of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in New Zealand since 1990.

It therefore doesn’t show the impact of measures introduced since 2019. These include the clean car standard; a ban on coal-fired boilers; putting a cap on the emissions trading scheme (meaning emissions must fall every year); replacing coal-fired boilers in schools and hospitals; and investing billions in new rail, buses, cycle-ways and walking infrastructure.

The increase in Aotearoa emissions are mainly due to emission increases in manufacturing industries and construction, public electricity and heat production.

The government has announced a ban on new coal-fired boilers and plans to phase-out existing coal-fired boilers by 2037, as well as transitioning away from the use of other fossil fuels.

Between 1990 and 2019, gross emissions increased by 26 per cent. This increase is mostly due to increases in methane from dairy cattle digestive systems and carbon dioxide from road transport.

The Inventory is one of New Zealand’s mandatory reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The effects of the covid pandemic on emissions will not be fully known until the next inventory submission, due in 2022.