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Emissions down slightly for December 2023 quarter - but gross annual emissions up slightly for the year

Friday 12 Apr 24 10:30am

Seasonally adjusted greenhouse gas emissions for industry and households went down 0.5% in the December 2023 quarter, according to the latest figures released from Stats NZ.

The 105 kilotonnes decrease was mainly due to a reduction in electricity, gas, water, and waste services emissions.


Stephen Oakley, Stats NZ environmental-economic accounts manager, said The fall in total quarterly industry emissions was driven by the fall in the amount of natural gas used for electricity generation.


Electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry emissions decreased 18.4% (356 kilotonnes) in the December 2023 quarter. This follows a 39.9% increase in the September 2023 quarter.


Industry emissions (excluding households) dropped 1.1% (189 kilotonnes) over the quarter. By comparison, gross domestic product (GDP – which accounts for industry production) decreased 0.1% in the same period.


However household emissions increased 3.2% (67 kilotonnes) in the December 2023 quarter, driven by an increase in household transport emissions, up 3.3% (62 kilotonnes).


Gross annual emissions increase


Robert McLachlan, Massey University distinguished professor of Mathematics, notes that 2023's gross annual emissions at 75.3 MtCO2e are up slightly on 2022 (75.1 MtCO2e) - but still below the pre-COVID level of 82.8 MtCO2e.


“A decline of 9% in 4 years is our best progress on record, particularly considering that the effect of Covid on emissions-related activity is mostly over. In the past year emissions declined in all areas except transport, where emissions were up 11% on 2022 - possibly still experiencing a post-Covid bounce.”


McLachlan says that some of the decline is due to external factors including COVID and high rainfall in 2022 and 2023, as well as to one-off factors such as the Marsden Point oil refinery closing, which contributed a 0.8 MtCO2 reduction.


“More analysis will be needed during the year to determine if the underlying factors point towards the country being on track to meet the first (2022-2025) and second (2026-2030) emissions budgets.”

Story copyright © Carbon News 2024
Related Topics: Greenhouse Effect


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