Greenhouse gas reports give confidence on Kyoto targetClimate Change Issues
Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser says New Zealand will comfortably meet its Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction targets following the release of New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Net Position today.
“The reports show that we are on track to meet our commitments and we will have a surplus of credits,” Mr Groser says.
The annual inventory shows how much we are emitting and how much we are taking out of the atmosphere, both since 1990 and in detail for 2012. The Net Position forecasts how far we will be above or below our Kyoto Protocol target. New Zealand set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels on average, or take responsibility for any emissions over these levels, over the first Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol from 2008 to 2012.
“In line with other reports in recent years, the inventory shows our emissions gradually rising as New Zealand’s economy and population grows. This includes a small increase in total emissions from 74.4 Mt CO2-e in 2011 to 76.0 Mt CO2-e in 2012. At the same time, these reports show we are planting more trees. From 2008 to 2012, afforestation exceeded deforestation. Forestry is an important part of New Zealand’s climate change response as forests remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“We are also getting more efficient as we produce more. For the last couple of decades our farmers have been producing more kilograms of meat and milk for export, and managing to do so with less greenhouse gas emissions. The Government is investing heavily in research that will support further reductions in agricultural emissions for the benefit of New Zealand and the world. This work will put us in a good position to meet our future targets,” Mr Groser says.
All countries that are part of the Kyoto Protocol have their accounts reviewed by international panels, and the final numbers will be known in 2016.
“New Zealand is committed to doing our fair share and we have an unconditional commitment to reduce emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2020. We are working towards a binding international agreement on emissions beyond 2020 that is genuinely global in its scope and flexible, catering for countries’ individual circumstances and allowing them to play to their strengths,” Mr Groser says.
The Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Net Position can be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s website at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate/greenhouse-gas-inventory-2014/index.html