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 2019 update

The latest 2020 net position update uses:

  • historic emission data from New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2017 (published 11 April 2019)
  • emissions projection updates for the agriculture, energy, transport, industrial processes and products use (IPPU) and waste sectors, and emission projection updates for forestry activities.

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 net position

To reach its unconditional 2020 emissions reduction 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 net position at 12 April 2019.

New Zealand’s projected gross emissions, and units held during the 2013 to 2020 period, as at 12 April 2019

NZ's projected gross emissions, and units held during the 2013 to 2020 period, as at 12 April 2019

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

Removals from forestry activities 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 7.3 12.5 13.9 15.8 16.0 14.4 14.5 13.7 108.0
Surplus units from CP1     123.7
Total units     741.5
Emissions      
Stationary energy 18.0 18.1 17.6 16.1 16.9 16.8 16.9 17.3 137.8
Transport 14.1 14.2 14.8 15.0 15.9 15.4 15.5 15.6 120.6
Industrial processes and product use 4.8 5.0 5.3 5.0 5.0 5.2 5.2 5.3 40.8
Agriculture 39.3 39.7 39.3 38.9 38.9 38.8 38.8 38.8 312.5
Waste 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.0 33.1
Tokelau 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.02
Gross emissions 80.5 81.3 81.2 79.1 80.9 80.3 80.5 81.0 644.8
Net position   96.8
Note: All emissions units are in Mt CO2-eq. Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding to one decimal place. 

Units

New Zealand is projected to hold a total of 741.5 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

For a 5 per cent reduction on 1990 emissions by 2020, New Zealand’s provisional carbon budget for 2013 to 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 eligible forestry activities can offset gross emissions.

Net emissions and removals from eligible forestry activities are projected to remove 108.0 Mt CO2-eq from the atmosphere from 2013 to 2020. Emissions and removals from forestry activities are strongly influenced by historic forest planting rates and deforestation activities.

For more information, refer to chapter 11 of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2017.

Recognising the surplus from CP1

A surplus of 123.7 million units from CP1 is available. New Zealand is projected to cancel 27.0 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 137.8 Mt CO2-eq during this period. 

Transport

Annual transport emissions are projected to gradually increase contributing a total of 120.6 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.

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 2018-2020. IPPU emissions are expected to total 40.8 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 be included in future updates.

Agriculture

Agriculture emissions are projected to decrease over 2013 to 2020 and are expected to total 312.5 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 33.1 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.

 

Forecasted waste disposal amounts are based off projected trends in waste disposal amounts.

Changes since April 2018

Gross emission values are updated using the recently published New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2017 and forecasts are also revised.

Changes in sector projections since the previous net position update (in April 2018) are mostly from Stationary energy, Agriculture and Forestry activities and are summarised in the table below.

(Mt CO2-eq /millions of units)

APR-18

Change 

Apr-19

Stationary energy

143.2

-5.4

137.8

Transport

122.2

-1.7

120.6

Industrial processes and product use

40.9

-0.0

40.8

Agriculture

308.1

+4.4

312.5

Waste

31.5

+1.6

33.1

Gross emissions

645.9

-1.1

644.8

Carbon budget

509.8

0.0

509.8

Forestry activities

104.8

+3.2

108.0

Surplus from CP1

123.7

0.0

123.7

Units

738.3

+3.2

741.5

 

Net position

92.4

+4.3

96.8

 Note: Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding to one decimal place. 
 
Reviewed:
11/04/19