Carbon Emissions

New Zealand has set a target to reduce net carbon emissions by 50% of 1990 level by 2050, as well as a short term target of between 10% and 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. The transportation sector has a significant role in helping to meet these targets.

Transportation accounts for approximately 20% of total emissions in New Zealand and the emissions from road transportation were one of the fastest growing sources of emissions between 1990 and 2007.

Rail provides a low carbon transport mode. For both freight and passenger transport rail performs well against both road and aviation in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Our performance to date has seen a 10% improvement in carbon intensity of rail freight since 2010. While we have no New Zealand comparative figure for road freight the United Kingdom truck figures1 suggests that rail is approximately four times more carbon efficient.

Contact us (sustainability@kiwirail.co.nz) if you want help calculating carbon emissions from a KiwiRail service. Our methodology has been checked by CarboNZero.

1. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK. http://www.ukconversionfactorscarbonsmart.co.uk/