Latest update on New Zealand's 2020 net position

This page has the latest update on New Zealand’s 2020 net position and how it is calculated. We use the net position to track progress towards our unconditional 2020 emissions reduction target.

Latest net position – April 2018 update

The latest 2020 net position update uses:

One unit represents one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq). Carbon dioxide equivalent is a measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential.

For information on how New Zealand’s 2020 net position is calculated and the carbon budget (also referred to as the emissions budget) see New Zealand’s initial report.

About the update

To reach its unconditional 2020 emissions reduction 2020 target (2020 target) by the end of the 2013 to 2020 period, New Zealand will need to hold units at least equivalent to the gross emissions during this period. See the graph below for information on the position at 12 April 2018.

New Zealand’s projected gross emissions, and units held during the 2013 to 2020 period, as at 12 April 2018

Total projected gross emissions for 2013-2020 (left) and the units to account for these (right). 

Note: Sequestration from forestry is represented by units based on the Kyoto Protocol accounting framework (refer to New Zealand’s Initial Report for further information on the accounting framework).

Sector breakdown of units and emissions for 2013 to 2020

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Total

 

historic

projected 

 

Units

 

 

 

2013 to 2020 carbon budget

 

 

509.8

Kyoto Protocol forestry activities

10.8

11.0

13.8

14.7

13.3

14.1

14.0

13.1

104.8

Surplus units from CP1

 

 

123.7

Total units

 

 

738.3

Emissions

 

 

 

Stationary energy

17.9

18.1

17.6

16.3

18.1

18.5

18.7

18.0

143.2

Transport

14.1

14.2

14.8

15.0

15.8

16.0

16.1

16.2

122.2

Industrial processes and product use

5.0

5.1

5.3

4.9

5.0

5.1

5.2

5.3

40.9

Agriculture

39.2

39.6

39.1

38.7

37.8

37.9

37.9

37.9

308.1

Waste

3.9

3.9

3.9

3.8

4.0

4.0

4.0

4.0

31.5

Gross emissions

80.2

80.9

80.7

78.7

80.7

81.4

81.9

81.4

645.9

Net position

 

92.4

 
Note: All emissions units are in Mt CO2 eq. Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding to one decimal place. 

Sequestration from forestry is represented by units based on the Kyoto Protocol accounting framework (refer to New Zealand’s Initial Report for further information on the accounting framework).

Units

New Zealand is projected to hold a total of 738.3 million units at the end of the 2013-2020 period.

This is from:

  • the carbon budget for 2013 to 2020
  • net emissions and removals from forestry activities
  • the surplus from the first commitment period (CP1).

Carbon budget for 2013 to 2020

New Zealand’s provisional carbon budget for 2013 to 2020 for a 5 per cent reduction on 1990 emissions by 2020 is 509.8 Mt CO2 eq. 

This budget is based on 1990 emissions reported in New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2015 and calculated according to UNFCCC guidance (refer to New Zealand’s Initial Report for further information on the accounting framework).

Net emissions and removals from forestry activities

In line with the Kyoto Protocol framework of rules, net emissions and removals from forestry activities offset gross emissions.

Net emissions and removals from forestry are projected to amount to 104.8 Mt CO2 eq of sequestration over 2013 to 2020. Emissions and removals from forestry are strongly influenced by estimates of forest planting and harvesting (ie, New Zealand’s sustainable forest management).

For more information, refer to chapter 11 of New Zealand’s Greenhouse Inventory 1990-2016.

Recognising the surplus from CP1

A surplus of 123.7 million units from CP1 is available. New Zealand is projected to recognise 31.3 million of these units to meet its 2020 target. 

Gross emissions

Historic gross emissions are sourced from the inventory and projected gross emissions are sourced from an updated forecast from each sector. These gross emissions are reported in the sector categories described below.

Sector category

Projected gross emissions

Stationary energy

Annual energy emissions (including fugitive emissions) without transport are projected to remain fairly static over 2013 to 2020 and total around 143.2 Mt CO2 eq during this period.

 

Emissions peaked in 2014 and gradually decreased by 2016. Projected emissions are expected to peak again in 2019 and decrease in 2020. (Note: these projections reflect the previous Genesis Energy announcement of its intention to keep the Huntly coal fired units open until 2022). 

 

Increasing amounts of renewable and less carbon-intensive fuels for energy production are contributing drivers to these decreasing emissions out to 2020.

Transport

Annual transport emissions are projected to gradually increase to a total of 122.2 Mt CO2 eq over the 2013 to 2020 period.

 

This increase in emissions is likely driven by population growth with the demand for petrol and diesel for road transport expected to increase out to 2020.

Industrial processes and product use 

Annual industrial processes and product use (IPPU) emissions are projected to remain fairly steady over 2013 to 2020 with a slight increase projected from 2017-2020. IPPU emissions are expected to total 40.9 Mt CO2 eq for the 2013 to 2020 period.

 

Most of this projected growth is caused by increased consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Emissions of other greenhouse gas gases from the IPPU sector are projected to remain steady.

 

In October 2016, New Zealand adopted the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFC consumption and production along with nearly 200 other parties worldwide. Although the impact of the Kigali Agreement on HFC emissions has not been applied in this current Net Position Update, it will eventually be included in future updates.

Agriculture

Agriculture emissions are projected to decrease over 2013 to 2020 and are expected to total 308.1 Mt CO2 eq over the period.

 

This decrease in emissions is in line with:

  1. A continued decline in the amount of land used for agriculture and continued reduction in land for sheep and beef.
  2. Changes in farm management practices due to the implementation of the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
  3. Continued reductions in emissions intensity (emissions per unit of product).
  4. These emissions are also influenced by other factors such as agricultural prices and adverse events (eg, droughts).

Waste

Waste emissions are projected to remain relatively steady over 2013 to 2020, and are expected to total 31.5 Mt CO2 eq for the period.

 

Increasing solid waste disposal amounts are expected to continue at similar historical rates. It is anticipated that the resulting increased emissions will be offset by methane capture.

 

Previously, forecasted waste disposal rates were based off projected population growth. Now, forecasted waste disposal amounts are based off projected trends in waste disposal amounts.

Changes since December 2017

Updated gross emission values from 2013 to 2016 are from the recently published New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2016 and the recent update in forecasts from Stationary energy, Transport and IPPU sectors since the previous Net Position update as at 17 December 2017.

Changes in sector projections since the previous net position update (in December 2017) are mostly from Stationary energy and Agriculture and are summarised in the table below.

(Mt CO2-eq /millions of units)

Dec-17

Change 

Apr-18

Stationary energy

136.9

6.3

143.2

Transport

122.6

-0.3

122.2

Industrial processes and product use

42.0

-1.1

40.9

Agriculture

305.1

3.0

308.1

Waste

32.2

-0.7

31.5

Gross emissions

638.7

7.2

645.9

Carbon budget

509.8

0.0

509.8 

Forestry activities

102.9

1.9

104.8

Surplus from CP1

123.7

0.0

123.7

Units

736.4

1.9

738.3

 

Net position

97.7

-5.3

 92.4

 
Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding to one decimal place. 
Reviewed:
17/04/18