New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory

New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory is the official annual estimate of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions and removals that have occurred in New Zealand since 1990. This page links to the latest findings.

Links to inventory publications (released April 2020) and emissions tracker

Key findings of the inventory

  • New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 were 78.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e). Compared to 1990, this is a 24 per cent increase in emissions.
  • Between 2017 and 2018, gross emissions decreased by 1 per cent. This was mainly due to a decline in emissions from manufacturing and construction, and public electricity and heat production.
  • The agriculture and energy sectors were the two largest contributors to New Zealand’s gross emissions, at 48 per cent and 41 per cent respectively (see graph below).
  • The Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector offset nearly one third of New Zealand’s gross emissions in 2018 (see graph below).
  • New Zealand's net emissions increased by 57 per cent compared with 1990 due mostly to the underlying increase in gross emissions and increased volume of timber harvested from New Zealand's plantation forest estate in 2018. 
  • Between 2017 and 2018, net emissions decreased by 3 per cent due to a reduced rate of deforestation and an increase in the production of harvested wood products.

New Zealand’s emissions profile in 2018

How much each sector contributed to our greenhouse gas emissions

Graph showing New Zealand's emission profile to 2018


Note: Net emissions from this sector are expressed as a negative number because the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector removes more carbon dioxide than it emits.


The graph shows the breakdown of New Zealand’s emissions by sector. In particular, it shows:

  • The LULUCF sector offset 30% of gross emissions, with emissions of -23.4 Mt CO2-e
  • The Agriculture sector was responsible for 48% of gross emissions, with emissions of 37.7 Mt CO2-e
  • The Energy sector was responsible for 41% of gross emissions, with emissions of 31.9Mt CO2-e
  • The IPPU sector was responsible for 7% of gross emissions, with emissions of 5.2 Mt CO2-e
  • The Waste sector was responsible for 5% of gross emissions, with emissions of 4.1 Mt CO2-e
  • Tokelau was responsible for 0.0005% of gross emissions, with emissions of 0.004 Mt CO2-e

Media release

Read the media release from the Minister for Climate Change Minister on the Beehive website.

Next inventory publication date

New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2019 will be published on 13 April 2021.