The New Zealand government has set a target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 1990, by 2050. It’s been a government proposal for a while, but feedback from a recent public consultation has been positive, so the target has been officially adopted.
It’s not as ambitious as the UK target of 80% reduction by 2050, but then the UK seems to be struggling. The Department of Energy and Climate Change last week released the provisional figures for 2010 greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not great reading:
In 2010, UK emissions of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol were estimated to be 582.4 million tonnes CO2e - 2.8% higher than in 2009. Net emissions of CO2 alone were 491.7 million tonnes, up 3.8%.
Between 2009 and 2010, there were increases in CO2 emissions from most of the main sectors. Emissions were up 13.4% from the residential sector, 3.3% from the energy supply sector and 2.4% from the business sector. Transport was down by just 0.1%. (Note that these figures are based on the source of the emissions, rather than end-user activity, so the emissions from electricity generation are attributed to power stations, rather than where it was used).
The increase in CO2 emissions resulted primarily from a rise in residential gas use, combined with fuel switching away from nuclear power to coal and gas for electricity generation.