Coal burning pushes rise in NZ emissions


Industry and household greenhouse gas emissions rose 4.8 percent in the three months to June, mainly off the back of coal burning to generate electricity.

Industrial air pollution smoke chimney.

Photo: 123RF

It comes after a 1.4 percent increase in the first quarter.

Stats NZ said that electricity, gas, water and waste services industry all reached a record quarterly level.

“The electricity, gas, water, and waste services industry reached a record quarterly level of 2927 kilotonnes of GHG emissions (seasonally adjusted), up 412 kilotonnes on the March 2021 quarter,” said Stats NZ environmental economic accounts manager Stephen Oakley in a statement.

“This is mainly due to a large increase in coal use for electricity generation.”

Manufacturing and household transport recorded the largest decreases this quarter, but private vehicle travel still made up more than 90 percent of total household emissions.

Overall emissions are still nearly 2 percent down on pre-Covid levels.

The report comes as world leaders gather for the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to tackle global warming.

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