7 Dec 2022

Stats NZ confirms drop in household climate emissions during 2020 Covid lockdown

2:06 pm on 7 December 2022
Kiwis woke up on Thursday to a locdown, where they have to stay for the next month in an effort the stop the spread of coronavirus.

A car-free Auckland motorway on the first day of a Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

New data confirms the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in 2020 caused a drop in household climate emissions.

Stats NZ information shows the amount of greenhouse gas pollution from peoples' consumption and lifestyle choices was lower because people were forced to leave the car in the garage.

The carbon footprint of households decreased by 6.3 percent in 2020 - with a full quarter of that (26 percent) from lower transport emissions.

Of that, pollution caused by making and getting fuel to New Zealand, as well as from peoples' personal flights, public transport and taxis trips nearly halved dropping by 43 percent.

The change saw transport, usually the largest share of household emissions, drop to about the same level as emissions from food and non-alcoholic beverages - which had a small increase of 5.7 percent.

Tourism emissions dropped 39 percent.

Households are the largest contributor to New Zealand's total carbon footprint - accounting for 69 percent of emissions.

In 2020, New Zealand's total carbon footprint decreased by 5.2 percent from the previous year.

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