Story: Farming and the environment

Greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions

Methane and nitrous oxide are New Zealand’s main non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases. Methane comes largely from the belching of ruminant animals, and nitrous oxide emissions come from animal excreta and nitrogen fertilisers. In 1990 methane emissions from livestock totalled about 20 million tonnes (non-agricultural sources of methane include the energy sector and landfills, which make up much of the 5 million tonnes). By 2001 this had increased by nearly 10%, mainly due to the increase in dairy cow numbers. Emissions from sheep had declined due to a drop in numbers.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: Ministry for the Environment, ‘New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2006: an overview’ (last accessed 3 June 2008)

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How to cite this page:

Julia Haggerty and Hugh Campbell, 'Farming and the environment - Biodiversity and greenhouse gas changes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 January 2022)

Story by Julia Haggerty and Hugh Campbell, published 24 Nov 2008