Key points

  • Aotearoa New Zealand has an international target to reduce our 2030 net emissions to 50 per cent below our gross 2005 levels by 2030. This corresponds to a provisional emissions budget of 571 Mt CO2-e over the period 2021 to 2030 (the National Determined Contribution (NDC) provisional budget).
  • Our current domestic emissions projections indicate that under current policy settings and assumed future conditions we are unlikely to meet the NDC provisional budget with domestic action alone. We intend to meet our NDC with further domestic action supplemented by access to offshore mitigation.

Tracking progress and inventory data

The information on this page is based on the 2022 greenhouse gas inventory, which covers the period 1990 to 2020. This inventory does not include data points within the NDC period, but it provides us with the basis for making projections of emissions beyond 2020.

New Zealand’s most recent greenhouse gas emissions inventory was published in April 2023 and covers the period 1990 to 2021. Updated emissions projections based on the 2023 inventory will be published by December 2023. An account of our progress towards meeting our NDC will be made in New Zealand’s first biennial transparency report under the Paris Agreement which will be published by 31 December 2024.

Domestic emissions projections

On 15 December 2022, the Ministry published updated emissions projections for New Zealand as part of our international reporting. These were based on information in the 2022 inventory. Updated emissions projections based on the 2023 inventory will be published by December 2023.

Find out more about our projections here

Uncertainty associated with projecting emissions

There is a high level of uncertainty associated with projecting emissions 

Emissions projections are based on:

  • assumptions about New Zealand’s economic growth and other economic variables
  • existing policy impacts
  • future policy implementation and technological advancement. 

If future circumstances differ from underlying assumptions, emissions could vary widely from projections. 

Limitations to applying projections

There are also significant limitations to applying these projections (compiled for international reporting purposes) for measuring progress towards our emissions reduction targets.

Limitations include:

  • They do not include the impacts of planned policies that have not yet reached sufficient certainty of adoption or implementation (eg, many of the actions in the first emissions reduction plan are not included).
  • Not all implemented policies and measures that are likely to have a significant emissions impact were able to be quantified in these projections (due to reasons such as time, capacity and data constraints, lack of certainty and model design constraints).
  • Assumptions are not entirely consistent between sectors and not all sector projections have been fully updated.

Our projections and historical estimates of emissions will continue to be updated over time as new information becomes available and improvements are made.

Emissions projections scenarios

When developing emissions projections for New Zealand, we consider a range of scenarios.

‘With existing measures’ (WEM) is the core scenario that includes an assessment of New Zealand’s existing policies and measures. ‘Low’ and ‘high’ emissions scenarios are also developed for the WEM scenario to give an indicative possible range of emissions under different key assumptions.

The ‘with additional measures’ (WAM) scenario includes several additional policies that have yet to be implemented.

For more information on the projections scenarios, polices and measures, methodologies and assumptions see Chapter 5 – Projections in New Zealand’s Eighth National Communication.

Emissions projections scenarios compared to the NDC provisional budget

Using target accounting emissions from our projections we can look at how we are tracking against our NDC provisional emissions budget.

All of our current domestic emissions projections indicate that there is a significant gap to achievement of the NDC provisional budget with domestic action alone. This was expected when we increased our NDC target in 2021. However, New Zealand intends to meet our NDC with further action to reduce domestic emissions supplemented by access to offshore mitigation.

Projected levels of emissions across our NDC period (2021 to 2030) for each projections scenario

All figures represent cumulative emissions in megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e) over the NDC budget period (2021-30) and apply AR5 GWP100 values.

Domestic projections scenario

Cumulative emissions over NDC1 period (2021-2030), Mt CO2-e

Projected domestic emissions under projections scenario

Projected overshoot of provisional NDC budget (571 Mt)

With existing measures




With existing measures, low emissions scenario (WEM low)



With existing measures, high emissions scenario (WEM high)



With additional measures




emissions and projected overshoot of ndc1 provisional budget

Emissions accounting

This webpage provides emissions using the 100-year time horizon global warming potentials (GWP100) for the non-carbon dioxide gases based on the values provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

New Zealand’s approach to LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) accounting under the Paris Agreement is outlined in its first NDC and will be fully described in its first communication under the Paris Agreement.