Bulletin

TOKELAUíS GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY, 1990-2018

Media Release, 20 April 2020

Atafu, Tokelau – A newly released Tokelau’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory, 1990-2018, indicates
the total amount of all GHGs from all sources in Tokelau in 2018 was 3.62 kilotonnes carbon dioxide
equivalent (kt CO2-e), contributing approximately 0.005 per cent to New Zealand’s gross emissions,
well below the significance threshold as defined in paragraph 37(b) of the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines for GHG inventories. This
is just one of the key points from the Inventory.

“This Inventory is monumental for Tokelau’s ongoing work in climate change. This is the first time
GHG emissions from Tokelau are included in New Zealand’s gross GHG emissions. This is a major
achievement and I acknowledge and thank Tokelau and New Zealand agencies’ experts who work
tirelessly on this project,” Hon. Kelihiano Kalolo, Tokelau Minister for Climate Change said.

“The Inventory provides a science-based platform for us and our development partners to inform
our climate risks and resilient development conversations. It also provides the data and information
we need to assess and if feasible, implement cost-effective low carbon mitigation response
measures to fulfil our nationally determined contribution pledge to the Paris Climate Agreement and
relevant villages/national development plans.”

The Inventory also indicates, in 1990, the total emissions from Tokelau were 3.17 kt CO2-e. Between
1990 and 2018, the total emissions increased by 14.2 per cent (0.45 kt CO2-e) to 3.62 kt CO2-e.
From 1990 to 2018, the average annual increase in gross emissions was 0.60 per cent.

“It’s worth noting our GHG emissions are confined to carbon dioxide (CO2) from boat engines and
vehicles; CO2 from back-up power generators; fluorinated gases (HFCs) from the use of refrigerants;
methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from livestock (pigs and poultry); and CH4, CO2 and N2O from
waste,” said Ms Paula Faiva, Director, Ministry of Climate, Oceans and Resilience (MiCORE).

“We can target these sectors as we transition from planning to implementing emission reductions in
the near future.”

The Tokelau GHG Inventory’s calculations were conducted by the Tokelau National Statistics Office in
consultation with New Zealand’s inventory experts to ensure adherence to the international
inventory reporting rules under the UNFCCC.

The attached “Snapshot, April 2020” summarises key points from the Tokelau GHG Inventory, 1990-
2018 chapter.

For further enquiries, contact Ms Paula Faiva, Director, Ministry of Climate, Oceans and Resilience
(MiCORE). Office phone: +(685) 20822 or 20823, Mobile: +(64) (0)210470167. Email:
paula.faiva@tokelau.org.nz

SNAPSHOT, April 2020

This snapshot summarises key points from the newly released Tokelau’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
Inventory, 1990-2018 (Chapter 8, pages 390-419, of New Zealand’s GHG Inventory, 1990-2018
report), available on the New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment website:
www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate-change/newzealands-greenhouse-gas-inventory-1990-2018

Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand. It comprises 3 atolls, 60 and 90 km apart,
each with a single village counting about 500 people. There is no access by air, only by ship. The
nearest port is Apia, the capital of Samoa, lies about 500 km to the south.

On April 11, 2019, Tokelau issued a media release1 on the inaugural launch of Tokelau’s GHG
Inventory, 1990-2017, which was part of New Zealand’s GHG Inventory, 1990-2017 report (NZ
Ministry for the Environment (MfE), 2019).

The second Tokelau’s GHG Inventory, 1990-2018, released in Wellington on April 15, 2020, is part of
New Zealand’s GHG Inventory 1990-2018 report.2 The GHG Inventory is the official annual estimate
of all anthropogenic (human-generated) greenhouse gas emissions and removals in New Zealand.

Key points
  • This is the first time GHG emissions from Tokelau are included in New Zealand’s gross GHG emissions.
  • Due to the small land size area, small population and absence of industry, Tokelau has a very low impact on the environment and emits very small amounts of GHGs.
  • The total amount of all GHGs from all sources in Tokelau in 2018 was 3.62 kilotonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (kt CO2-e), contributing approximately 0.005 per cent to New Zealand’s gross emissions, well below the significance threshold as defined in paragraph 37(b) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines for GHG inventories (UNFCCC, 2014).
  • In 1990, the total emissions from Tokelau were 3.17 kt CO2-e. Between 1990 and 2018, the total emissions increased by 14.2 per cent (0.45 kt CO2-e) to 3.62 kt CO2-e. From 1990 to 2018, the average annual increase in gross emissions was 0.60 per cent.
  • The emissions in Tokelau are limited to: carbon dioxide (CO2) from boat engines and vehicles; CO2 from back-up power generators; fluorinated gases from the use of refrigerants; methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from livestock (pigs and poultry); and CH4, CO2 and N2O from waste.
  • Carbon dioxide dominates emissions, contributing 51.7 per cent (1.87 kt CO2-e) of its total emissions. At 1.83 kt CO2, the Energy sector contributes 97.9 per cent of total CO2 emissions, mostly from Domestic navigation; with the remaining 2.1 per cent (0.04 kt) coming from Open burning of waste in the Waste sector.
1https://www.tokelau.org.nz/Bulletin/April+2019/Tokelau+Greenhouse+Gases+GHG+National+Inventory+Report+launche
2 https://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/media/Climate%20Change/new-zealands-greenhouse-gas-inventory-1990-2018-snapshot.pdf
  • Methane emissions contribute 40.7 per cent (1.47 kt CO2-e) to the total emissions from Tokelau. The Agriculture sector in Tokelau contributes 56.0 per cent of CH4 emissions (0.82 kt CO2-e), that mostly come from Manure management. A significant portion of CH4 emissions, 17.7 per cent (0.64 kt CO2-e), comes from the Waste sector, largely from Solid waste disposal. The Energy sector contributes the remaining 0.2 per cent of CH4 emissions (0.01 kt) that mostly come from Domestic navigation.
  • Nitrous oxide emissions contribute 1.1 per cent (0.04 kt CO2-e) to the total emissions from Tokelau. The Industrial Processes and Products Use (IPPU) sector contributes the largest amount of N2O, 40.8 per cent (0.02 kt CO2-e) of the total N2O, from the use of metered dose inhalers. The Energy sector contributes a further 31.4 per cent (0.01 kt CO2-e) that comes largely from domestic navigation. The Waste sector contributes the remaining 27.7 per cent of N2O (0.01 kt CO2-e) from open burning and wastewater treatment and discharge.
  • Emissions of fluorinated gases from Tokelau consist of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions only, contributing 6.5 per cent (0.23 kt CO2-e) to the total emissions from Tokelau. These emissions are largely coming from the use of refrigerants in domestic fridges and freezers. Emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrogen trifluoride and sulphur hexafluoride are not occurring in Tokelau. Figures 1 and 2 (Figures 8.1.2 and 8.1.3, Chapter 8 (other) sector, MfE, New Zealand GHG Inventory Report, 2020) show emissions from Tokelau by gas and by sector.

Figure 1: Tokelau’s emissions by gas in 2018



Figure 2: Tokelau’s emissions by sector in 2018



Why Tokelau GHG Inventory is part of New Zealand’s GHG inventory?

New Zealand ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(the Convention) on 16 September 1993 and the Paris Agreement on 4 October 2016. The extension

to Tokelau (as of 13 November 2017) of New Zealand’s ratification of the Convention and of the
Paris Agreement requires New Zealand to include Tokelau in the obligatory climate change reporting
managed by the Ministry for the Environment. Delivering on this obligation, inter alia, means that
New Zealand’s GHG inventory shall include the GHG estimates from Tokelau.

Acknowledgement

The Tokelau National GHG Inventory, 1990-2018 would not have been possible without unwavering
support from the 3 nukus (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo), Tokelau government agencies - the
Tokelau National Statistics Office (TNSO), Tokelau Department of Finance, Tokelau Department of
Energy (DoE), Tokelau Department of Transport and Support Services (TSS), Tokelau Department of
Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment (EDNRE) and the Ministry of Climate,
Oceans and Resilience (MiCORE) and New Zealand government agencies - the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade (MFAT), the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). All are gratefully
acknowledged.