The 2005 ‘net position’ report forecasted that New Zealand would have a net deficit of 36.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) during the first commitment period. Minister Hodgson requested an independent review of the net position report.
The Ministry for the Environment contracted an independent UK based consulting firm, AEA Technology, to undertake the independent review. The key finding is that “the methodologies employed to project emissions and sinks across the different sectors [are] generally sound and reasonable in their approach”. The review noted the uncertainties inherent to all countries’ approaches to projecting future greenhouse gas emissions, and that it is “not uncommon” for projections to change on re-analysis. The reviewers provide a number of suggestions for improving the accuracy and robustness of future forecasts. They recognise that many of their recommendations build upon improvements already in train.