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NZ produced fewer greenhouse gas emissions in 2020

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Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Tāmaki Makaurau – Aotearoa’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped to 79,998 kilotonnes in 2020, StatsNZ says in its latest report.

This was made up of 72,076 kilotonnes (90 percent) from industries and 7922 kilotonnes (10 percent) from households. The total emissions decreased 5.2 percent (4431 kilotonnes), compared with 2019.

This was driven by a 4.6 percent decrease (3494 kilotonnes) in industry-related emissions and 10.6 percent decrease (938 kilotonnes) in household emissions, largely due to covid restrictions.

Service industries, as a broad industry group, contributed the least amount of emissions (9.4 percent) but contributed the most to gross domestic product (GDP) (66 percent). Primary industries contributed the most emissions (55 percent) but had the smallest contribution to GDP (at 6.5 percent).

Tourism accounted for 3.4 percent of emissions in 2020. Air transport (down 74 percent) and manufacturing (down 37 percent) had the largest decreases in tourism related emissions from 2019 to 2020, due to covid restrictions.

Overall, total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 decreased 4.3 percent (3,610 kilotonnes) compared with 2007.

Household emissions fell 4.1 percent (341 kilotonnes) and industry-related emissions fell 4.3 percent (3270 kilotonnes) compared with 2007.

The electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry had the largest decrease in emissions, down 2642 kilotonnes (24 percent) in 2020 compared with 2007. Transport, postal, and warehousing was down 1571 kilotonnes (24 percent) due to covid border restrictions.

Other large movements in 2020 (compared with 2007) were:

agriculture, forestry, and fishing, up 943 kilotonnes (2.3 percent)

mining, down 894 kilotonnes (42 percent)

construction, up 591 kilotonnes (67 percent).

Lower emissions in 2020 reflect the impact of the pandemic on the economy and society.

Total emissions fell 4431 kilotonnes (5.2 percent) from 2019 to 2020, largely due to covid restrictions that began in March 2020. Industry-related emissions fell 3494 kilotonnes (4.6 percent) and household emissions fell 938 kilotonnes (10.6 percent).

The largest industry movements from 2019 to 2020 were:

transport, postal, and warehousing, down 2248 kilotonnes (31 percent)

manufacturing, down 1105 kilotonnes (9.5 percent)

electricity, up 336 kilotonnes (4.1 percent)

mining, down 188 kilotonnes (13 percent)

agriculture, forestry, and fishing, down 91 kilotonnes (0.2 percent).

In 2020, the top five contributors to industry and household emissions at the aggregated industry level were:

agriculture, forestry, and fishing, 42,733 kilotonnes (53 percent)

manufacturing, 10,592 kilotonnes (13 percent)

electricity, gas, water, and waste services, 8556 kilotonnes (11 percent)

household, 7922 kilotonnes (9.9 percent)

transport, postal, and warehousing, 4902 kilotonnes (6.1 percent).

Emissions intensity is the level of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of economic output (GDP). It is calculated as a ratio, of emissions per unit of economic output, and can indicate if an industry is moving towards less or more emitting-production processes.

If economic output increases at a greater rate compared with emissions, emissions per unit of economic output is less and the emissions intensity decreases. Emission intensity ratios can also be used in international comparisons.

Accommodation and food services from 2019 to 2020 had the largest increase in emissions intensity (10.2 percent) as economic activity reduced due to covid restrictions.

Emissions intensity of government and defence, and health care and social assistance fell 10.4 and 10.2 percent respectively due to decreases in emissions, as well as increases in economic activity due to covid policies.