Emissions and Freshwater reports from the Beehive this week

One topic continues to dominate our lives, the news and Government at the moment, but what else has come out of the Beehive this week? Not much. Just two other media releases, one on carbon emissions which is a bit out of date (2017-2018), and another on a the Freshwater 2020 report just released.

Emissions report shows progress, and the work ahead

New Zealand is making limited progress to reduce its emissions, but not nearly quickly enough, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, said today in response to the release of the latest annual inventory of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases.

“The report gives us the most up to date picture of how much we still have to do to solve climate change. Narrowing the gap between where we are now, and where we need to be, is the difference between handing our children a better world, or more crises in the future.

Net emissions fell by 3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017 levels. Gross emissions in 2018 decreased by 1 percent on 2017 levels. However, between 1990 and 2018, gross emissions increased by 24 percent.

Over the same period economic growth increased by 3.2% so it is possible to do more and pollute less.

But this isn’t very up to date, it doesn’t include last year and of course there’s major disruption this year so it’s hard to know what will happen.

Measures introduced by this Government to help drive down emissions include the Zero Carbon Act; the creation of the Climate Change Commission; reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme; the first set of emissions budgets; billions of dollars invested in rail, light rail, buses, walking and cycling infrastructure; a Joint Action Plan for Primary Sector Emissions; the Billion Trees programme; and the end of new offshore fossil fuel exploration.

In 2018, New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions comprised of 44 percent carbon dioxide, 43 per cent methane, 10 per cent nitrous oxide and 2 per cent fluorinated gases. The agriculture and energy sectors were the two largest contributors to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions at 48 percent and 41 percent respectively. Increases in emissions from dairy cattle and road transport remain the largest contributors to the growth in emissions since 1990.

The full inventory report and a snapshot here.

Freshwater report highlights need for continued efforts to protect and restore healthy waterways

Our Freshwater 2020, released by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, underlines the importance of government efforts to ensure healthy freshwater, protect native freshwater biodiversity, make land use more sustainable and combat climate change.

Environment Minister David Parker said the report will help inform the work already underway, to protect and restore waterways and the life in them.

The report highlights the inherent connection between people and the environment: our activities on land are having a negative effect on our freshwater ecosystems and the plants and animals that live in them.

Each catchment is different, so it is challenging to present a national picture of the state of our freshwater, but some conclusions are clear; our native freshwater species and ecosystems are under threat; water is polluted in urban, farming, and forestry areas; and the way we change water flows can have a range of impacts on freshwater ecosystems.

These issues combined, and with the impact of climate change, add up to significant pressure on our freshwater species and habitats.

David Parker said the Government has work underway to address the issues presented in the report.

He  noted that the Resource Management Amendment Bill is currently before Parliament, which will also benefit freshwater health and help mitigate climate change impacts.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said all the issues in the report are made worse by climate change and that is why this government is so determined to take strong action.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the report highlighted the importance of law changes last year to protect native fish, and the work the Department of Conservation was leading to develop a new national biodiversity strategy.

“The freshwater report outlines well the pressures on native fish such as īnanga/whitebait and the importance of reducing sediment and nitrogen pollution and barriers to fish migration to ensure healthy fish populations,” said Eugenie Sage.

The Our Freshwater 2020 report is available here.


Leave a comment


  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th April 2020

    The country is desperate for more carbon emissions. What is a native fish?

  2. David

     /  18th April 2020

    Lets hope they resist the urge to throw on more costly regulations while we are looking at a few years of recession. The increase in the minimum wage doesnt give one much hope, your business is shut and you are topping up the wage subsidy and the government make it 48 bucks a week more expensive, might they not have given consideration that it could only accelerate the business being destroyed which helps no one. Besides what are you going to do with your pay rise, everything is shut.

    • Blazer

       /  18th April 2020

      just keep putting rents/prices up…the usual.

      • David

         /  18th April 2020

        Guess what Blazer, you will be pleased to hear I have a lot tied up in tourism so there is no rent at all but lots of wage subsidies to pay and we have no one on the minimum wage either.
        And I am a huge supporter of shutting down the border and quarantining.

        • Good for you; I admire your success (but commiserate the hard times you’re having) and hope that it will go well for you in future. The mean-spirited will always feel the need to put down those who are successful, of course.

          • Duker

             /  18th April 2020

            if he started with nothing hes to be admired. Some times its working for a corporate but with only a desk start up a complete new business

          • David

             /  18th April 2020

            Thank you, I will be fine it’s part of lifes rich pattern but i feel so sorry for the excellent staff their prospects for the next six months are grim.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th April 2020

              Yes, up here too, David. The one consolation is that off season is coming but autumn was ruined for many.

        • Blazer

           /  18th April 2020

          well things can’t be too bad…when you can still spring for Apple shares.

  1. Emissions and Freshwater reports from the Beehive this week — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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