Data file for the graph [Excel, 241 KB]
What the graph shows
- Gross emissions increased from 68.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) in 1990 to 85.4 Mt CO2-e in 2019. With existing measures, gross emissions are projected to remain steady in the short term before gradually decreasing to 69.4 Mt CO2-e in 2050.
- New Zealand’s target accounting emissions are projected to decrease from 74.4 Mt CO2-e in 2020 to 44.7 Mt CO2-e in 2050, a 66.7 per cent reduction on 2020 levels by 2050.
- Target accounting emissions are projected to peak at 76.7 Mt CO2-e in 2022.
What we measure
- Gross emissions include emissions from all sectors of the New Zealand economy excluding forestry and land-use emissions/removals.
- Net emissions - these are gross emissions, plus emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and forestry, and our target accounting emissions. These are used for our United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reporting.
- Target accounting emissions – these include gross emissions, with a subset of our forestry and land-use emissions and removals. These count towards our 2021-2030 Paris target.
The new emissions projections to 2050 incorporate information from New Zealand's greenhouse gas inventory which provides emissions data up to 2019.
The projections assume only existing policies, including a carbon price of $35 per tonne of CO2-e in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
The projections have informed the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan.
The projections are calculated to align with international reporting standards under the UNFCCC. Emissions from Tokelau are included in the projections to align with the national greenhouse gas inventory.
Methodological updates used in the projections
Methodological updates that have been used in the projections have not yet been applied to historical years. Base year emissions will be updated for New Zealand’s next annual National Inventory Report. The latest Inventory emissions data are for 2019, but projected emissions for 2020 were chosen as more relevant reference year in this summary.
The next projections update will be published in late 2022.