Greenhouse Gas Emission Factor Module: Land Use in Rural New Zealand - Climate Version 1

Several different New Zealand economic models produce measures of rural economic activity that have greenhouse gas implications. For climate change analysis, models need to translate economic activity into greenhouse gas emissions.

This document estimates functions and creates projections for land-use related greenhouse gas emissions per unit of economic activity that:

  • are simple;
  • are based on readily available data and strong science;
  • are consistent with the national inventory in 2002;
  • evolve so that implied net emissions approximately match past inventory totals (1990-2002); and
  • can be linked easily to a variety of models so they can be used in simulations.

We estimate dynamic greenhouse gas emission functions for five land uses:

  • dairy,
  • sheep,
  • beef,
  • plantation forestry, and indigenous forests;

and for three greenhouse gases:

  • methane,
  • nitrous oxide, and
  • carbon dioxide.

We use an approach based on the consensus reached at the November 2004 "Land Use, Climate Change and Kyoto: Human dimensions research" project research workshop. These functions will allow different researchers who are studying activity levels in the rural sector to draw on a consistent set of emission functions when considering the greenhouse gas implications of their model results.

All these data are available so other researchers can easily apply these functions.