New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 24% in the past 25 years, but grew more slowly than the economy in general, according to the Government's new Environmental Accounts produced by Stats NZ.
The first report of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts shows the impact of what we are doing to the natural environment and what is being done to protect it, as well as the importance of natural resources to the economy.
Economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions increased from 1990 to 2015 from 61 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 1990, to about 76 million tonnes in 2015, the latest available period. Carbon dioxide equivalent is a way of comparing how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere compared with carbon dioxide. New Zealand’s emissions from economic activity (excluding emissions and removals from land-use change and the forestry sector) hit a peak in 2005, declined until 2009, and rose moderately after that.
The rate of increase in greenhouse gas emissions however, including carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and methane from agriculture, was slower than the rate of increase in GDP leading to a decline in greenhouse gas intensity.