Greenhouse gas emissions
Council has received a number of awards for reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including being named top carbon reducer in Toitū Envirocare’s 2020 rankings.
Reducing emissions is important because the current climate change emergency has been caused by too many GHGs in the atmosphere. We all need to be working to mitigate our emissions – that is, working to reduce the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere by reducing our GHG emissions, or finding ways to absorb GHGs out of the atmosphere (sequestration).
The two GHGs emitted most in New Zealand are:
- carbon dioxide (mostly from transportation, manufacturing and construction, and energy industries)
- methane (mostly from livestock and waste).
New Zealand’s national greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets are:
- net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases other than biogenic methane by 2050
- 24–47 percent reduction of biogenic methane emissions by 2050, with 10 percent by 2030 (relative to 2017 levels).
New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are relatively small on a global scale, but our per capita emissions are among the highest in the world. This means that mitigation is needed at all levels, including households and businesses.
You can find out more About New Zealand's emissions reduction targets on the Ministry for the Environment's website.
Greenhouse gas inventories tell us that:
57 percent of Kāpiti's gross emissions are from transportation (eg, road, rail and air travel). 74 percent of transport emissions are from petrol and diesel use, while the remaining 26 percent are from air, rail, LPG and bus electricity.
17 percent of Kāpiti's emissions are from stationary energy (eg, industrial, residential, and commercial electricity or gas consumption).
12 percent of Kāpiti's emissions are from agriculture. From 2001 to 2019, agricultural emissions dropped by 41 percent as the number of farm animals in the District declined by nearly 50 percent.
9 percent of Kāpiti's emissions are from waste. 92 percent of waste emissions are from solid waste, which emits methane when organic materials break down in open and closed landfills.
Wastewater generates the remaining 8 percent, which is a relatively small amount due to advances in wastewater treatment.
5 percent of Kāpiti's emissions are from industry.
In the 2018/19 reporting year, the Kāpiti Coast District emitted gross 351,245 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent). This is around 8 percent of the Wellington region’s total gross emissions for the 2018/19 reporting year. Because the population in 2019 was approximately 56,000 people, per capita gross emissions were 6.3 tCO2e/person.
After considering carbon sequestration (carbon stored in plants or soil by forests), the Kāpiti Coast District emitted net 286,560 tCO2e emissions. This is 11 percent of the Wellington region’s total net emissions.