Our targets and emissions projections

This page provides an overview of New Zealand's historic and projected emissions as we head towards our 2030 target.

The chart below shows historic and projected emissions as we head towards our 2030 target. The gap between the green line and the carbon budgets show how much we need to reduce emissions by to achieve our target (the level of ambition).

It won’t be easy to meet our 2030 target - there will be a cost to the economy and we’ll need to make changes – that’s why we say our target is ambitious. Meeting the target will require changes to our economic activity, a concerted effort to plant more trees and securing access to high integrity international carbon markets.

New Zealand’s emissions and targets

Data file [Excel, 43 KB]

Notes on this chart

  • These greenhouse gas emissions projections were prepared in 2017. Net target emissions were updated in 2018.
  • The New Zealand Government is currently in the process of updating all sector emissions projections, with the Fourth Biennial Report expected to be published in December 2019.
  • Historical emissions are from New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2017. These will differ from data submitted in December 2015 for New Zealand’s 'True-up report' for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012) due to more up to date information. Find out more here.
  • The projections were prepared prior to the announcement on the ETS fixed price option being removed no later than the end of 2022. For more information on this announcement see Latest-emissions-trading-scheme-reforms-target-transparency-and-compliance.
  • For a summary of key variables and assumptions used in the projections analysis please see Chapter IV of the Third Biennial Report.
  • Net target emissions includes gross emissions minus the subset of forestry and land use removals that can be counted towards our target, but does not include international unit purchases.
  • Net target emissions include the One Billion Trees programme (Grants and Joint Ventures) and ETS accounting reforms (new forest averaging) which are anticipated to incentivise new forest establishment. For more information see https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/ets-revamp-averaging-accounting-forests.
  • The rules to account for emissions and removals from forestry and land-use activities differ between the 2008–2012, 2013–2020 and 2021-2030 target periods. For more information on how we measure, account and report on emissions see Measuring, accounting for and reporting our emissions.
  • The calculation of New Zealand’s 2021-30 carbon budget is based on the latest available emissions data and projections which are subject to change. The details of the final methodology for forestry and land use are also still being confirmed. New Zealand will update how the target is reflected as better data and projections become available.
  • Net emissions for Kyoto Protocol Commitment Period 1 have been recalculated using Assessment Report Four (AR4) global warming potentials for consistency of presentation.

For more information on the targets see About our emissions reduction targets