New Zealand’s Net Position
New Zealand’s Net Position is a report released by the Ministry for the Environment (see 2010 report here ) in May every year, detailing the relative position of New Zealand’s net greenhouse gas emissions at the end of 2012 (end of first Kyoto commitment period) in relation to emission levels in 1990. This report has received a lot of attention in the media over the last few years, as the figure keeps changing, from one year to the next.
The net position is the best estimate at the time, for what balance NZ will have at the end of 2012 and how many credits we will have as a surplus or deficit. By way of an example the following is how the net position has changed over time:
- 2002 + 55 million tCO2 eq
- 2006 – 64 million tCO2 eq
- 2008 – 21 million tCO2 eq
- 2009 + 9.6 million tCO2 eq
- 2010 +11.2 million tCO2 eq
Changes in New Zealand’s net position are due to: refining measurement techniques; droughts; emission factors changing; deforestation being worse than predicted, then not being as bad as first thought, etc.
Where does agriculture sit?
Figures in the 2009 Net Position report show that agriculture accounts for around 50% of total green house gas emissions in New Zealand, but is only predicted to account for 40% of the total increases since 1990, around 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This equates to an estimated 17% increase since 1990. The transport sector has the highest over all predicted increase in emissions of around 7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, this is a 41% increase in emissions since 1990.