Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Climate Change: The latest inventory

The annual inventory report [PDF] of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions has been released, showing a significant increase in emissions: NZemissions2019

(Note that this is UNFCCC accounting, not the weird fudged figures the Climate Change Commission is using).

Emissions increased by almost 2 million tons in 2019, from 80.6 MT to 82.3 MT. Poking around in the Emissions Tracker, this is almost entirely due to energy sector emissions, in particular electricity generation, chemicals, and food production (AKA Fonterra). The good news is that all these sectors are covered by the ETS, and the removal of the carbon price cap in 2019 saw prices rise by 50% in 2020. We will hopefully see the effects of that increase in future inventories; if not, we can only conclude that carbon prices need to be higher (and pollution subsidies lower) to produce real reductions.

(Note that there is a two-year lag in emissions reporting, so this data is for 2019. We won't see the full impact of the pandemic on emissions until next year).