Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decline Across Most New Zealand Regions in 2022

In a significant environmental development, data released by Stats NZ reveals a positive trend: greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand witnessed a decline in 11 out of 16 regions during the year ending December 2022.

Notable Changes:

The region of Waikato led the way with the most substantial reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions, marking a remarkable 13% drop, equivalent to 2,069 kilotonnes. Northland followed suit, recording a 13% decrease of 540 kilotonnes, while Manawatū-Whanganui experienced a 4.8% decrease of 271 kilotonnes.

Driving Factors:

The reductions in emissions are attributed to various factors across regions. In the Waikato region, a significant decrease in coal usage for electricity generation and a reduction in industrial emissions contributed to the decline. For Northland, manufacturing emissions dropped due to the discontinuation of oil refining activities, while Taranaki saw an emissions surge due to increased oil and gas production.

Household Emissions:

Household emissions accounted for approximately 12% of New Zealand’s total emissions in 2022, with a focus on decreasing emissions from household transport. Encouragingly, emissions from households decreased in 10 out of 16 regions. Notably, Auckland, Manawatū-Whanganui, and Taranaki achieved substantial reductions in household emissions.

Factors at Play:

Changes in household emissions are influenced by factors like fuel purchasing patterns, shifts in behavior due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of fuel and public transport subsidies, and evolving trends in remote work. These factors, alongside the concerted efforts in the regions, contribute to the positive shift towards reduced greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand.