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Greenhouse emissions in Kāpiti drop 14 percent in 2021/22

11 Jul 2023, 1:17 PM

Districtwide gross greenhouse gas gross emissions for the Kāpiti Coast in 2021/22 dropped 14 percent from 2018/19 largely due to reductions in travel emissions and improved waste and industrial processes.

The Kāpiti Coast Emissions Inventory 2021/22, which is part of a wider collection of reports examining emissions across the Wellington region, puts total gross emissions from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 at 296,695 tCO2e.

“There are some great signs of progress in this report – our emissions have dropped while our population has grown by 3 percent meaning that per capita, gross emissions in Kāpiti have decreased by 16.8 percent per person,” says Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow.

“Emissions from road and air transport decreased by 21 percent, our waste emissions fell 13 percent thanks to drops in closed landfill and wastewater emissions, and our stationary energy emissions reduced 8 percent because of the lessening reliance on fossil fuels in electricity generation nationally.

“Another positive was carbon sequestration, which is carbon captured and stored in plants and soils, was higher than emissions from forest harvesting resulting in the removal of nearly 80 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.”

While these figures are to be celebrated, Mayor Holborow cautions that we need to be realistic about the drivers of the reductions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on air travel was likely to be the most significant factor in driving our drop in total emissions,” says Mayor Holborow.

“Even with this reduced movement, our biggest emitting sector by far continues to be transport by road and air with emissions generated from petrol, diesel, and jet kerosene. This represents 53 percent of total gross emissions.

“Agriculture emissions climbed 7 percent due to an increase in dairy and non-dairy cattle in the district. Dairy cattle alone account for 56 percent of our agricultural emissions.

“In a regional context, Kāpiti is producing 8 percent of the Wellington region’s emissions – all mostly from transport and stationary energy. This gives us a really clear idea of where to prioritise our focus and effort for future reductions.”

Targets for districtwide emissions reductions will be set in the coming months, likely as part of Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Climate Strategy that is in development.

The next regional inventory will be undertaken in 2024/25.

Read more about our greenhouse gas emissions at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/toitu