It just happened that I stumbled across one of my old blob posts regarding the Kyoto Protocol.

Under one heading called “New Zealand’s obligations under the Protocol” it will take you to a passage that reads:

The most important obligation that would be imposed on New Zealand would be to ensure that New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions for the first commitment period (the five years from 2008 to 2012) are no higher than five times New Zealand’s 1990 level of emissions, or that we have taken responsibility for any emissions over this level through the emissions trading mechanisms and sinks provisions of the Protocol.

Now I also found some recent statistics on the MFE website:

  • Total emissions topped at about 2005 and have gone down since but flattened out since 2009 and are slightly on the rise.
  • Net removals have gone up on a negative scale, ie our removals from forests etc are going down, we are less able to offset emissions.
  • As a result, net emissions have been on a significant rise since 2009.

However, for some miraculous reason, the statistics claim that we are on target to meet the obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. But how can that be when net emissions are much higher than they were in 1990, which is supposedly the baseline year and according to MFE, we had to:

Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand will have to limit its levels of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels, on average, during the period 2008 to 2012. If we cannot reach this target, we will have to take responsibility for any excess emission.

Trying to understand the statistics…



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