- NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions were up 1.7% in the March quarter, as per the StatsNZ report.
- The report says the power sector mainly drove emissions.
- Sectors like agriculture, fishery, and forestry have shown a drop in GHG emissions.
As per the latest data released by Stats NZ, New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have increased by 1.7% in March 2022 compared to the previous quarter. The report said that over the last two years, NZ’s emissions have been volatile, while they dropped during COVID-19-related lockdowns, they started rising again once the restrictions were removed.
Stats NZ said that the GHG emissions in March quarter was still 3.5% lower than the previous year. Emissions were high in the first two quarters of last year but lower in the previous two quarters of 2021.
Reasons for increase in emissions
According to StatsNZ, the recent rise has been mainly due to the power sector. The coal-burning Huntly power plant added significantly to New Zealand’s emissions in the quarter.
The increase in emissions from electricity was due to more use of coal and natural gas in the March 2022 quarter as renewable sources such as hydro and wind were in short supply
Stephen Oakley, Environmental-economic accounts manager of StatsNZ, said: “The increase and then decrease in renewable energy generation created volatility in NZ’s overall emissions production.”
Other sectors that contributed to the increase in emissions included the service industry. This sector contributed nearly 10% of the emissions compared to the December quarter. The manufacturing sector contributed 2.8% to New Zealand’s emissions.
Total household emissions also increased by 1.5% in March due to household transport emissions. As per the report, household transport emissions increased as compared to previous quarter despite the country being under restrictions due to the Omicron surge from January onwards.
Decrease in emissions
The report mentioned that emissions from agriculture, forestry, and fishing were down 0.8%. The construction and mining sectors also decreased by 3.3 % and 2.7%, respectively.
Furthermore, global events could also determine NZ’s greenhouse tally. It is likely that a rise in oil prices could lead to lower household emissions.