Greenhouse gas reporting
New Zealand must report its estimated greenhouse gas emissions every year in a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, under the commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.
About the Greenhouse Gas Inventory
The annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory includes man-made emissions and removals of greenhouse gases for energy, industrial processes, agriculture, land use, land-use change and forestry, and waste.
The Inventory is produced by government agencies. MPI is responsible for producing the chapter on agricultural emissions (the Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Inventory).
The Ministry for the Environment compiles the Inventory and submits it to the UNFCCC for publication in mid-April each year. The Inventory is then reviewed by a team of experts from the UNFCCC, who ensure the reporting meets international guidelines. These experts also make recommendations for future improvements to the Inventory.
The Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Inventory
MPI reports annually on greenhouse gases from the agricultural sector under New Zealand's commitment to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
The reporting includes estimations of annual emissions from:
- enteric fermentation
- manure management
- direct-to-pasture manure
- fertilisers and field burning.
The greenhouse gases reported for agriculture are mostly methane and nitrous oxide.
Emissions from the agricultural sector make up nearly half of the total emissions from New Zealand.
Methodology used to prepare the inventories
All national greenhouse gas inventories are prepared in line with a set of reporting guidelines that are published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Countries can either use the default methods and values published in these guidelines to estimate their emissions or they can develop their own country-specific methods.
Many of the IPCC's default values are based on Northern Hemisphere research, so New Zealand uses a mixture of country-specific and default methodologies to estimate agricultural gas emissions, as well as statistical information about national livestock numbers and agricultural production. The country-specific methods were developed under a comprehensive and ongoing research programme, including modelling to calculate emissions from cattle, sheep, and deer. The research is guided by expert advisory groups of scientists: NzOnet and Methanet.
Before a country-specific method is used or changed in the Agriculture Inventory, it must first be considered and approved by the Agricultural Inventory Advisory Panel – a panel of independent experts.