WELLINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's carbon footprint of households, which reflects the emissions embodied in households' consumption and lifestyle choices, decreased 6.3 percent, or 2,677 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent during 2020, the statistics department Stats NZ said on Wednesday.
The decrease in household consumption-based emissions, also known as carbon footprint, was primarily driven by the 26 percent decrease in household transport emissions due to pandemic-related restrictions in 2020, Stats NZ said.
Indirect household transport emissions, which includes emissions from extraction, refining, and transport of fuel, as well as household use of commercial transport modes including air, water, and rail, buses, and taxis, dropped 43 percent, it said.
Direct household transport emissions, largely resulting from household use of fuel in road transport, dropped 12 percent, statistics show.
"Prior to COVID-19, household transport was the largest contributor to the household carbon footprint, but following pandemic lockdowns and associated border restrictions, transport emissions fell and contributed a similar proportion as food and non-alcoholic beverages," said environmental economics accounts insights analyst Kate Augustine.
The other main contributors to household consumption-based emissions were food and non-alcoholic beverage emissions, which increased 5.7 percent, and housing and household utilities emissions, which increased 3.8 percent, Augustine said.
Households are the largest contributor to New Zealand's total carbon footprint, accounting for 69 percent of emissions. In 2020, New Zealand's carbon footprint decreased 5.2 percent from the previous year, to 57,381 kilotonnes, she said.
Tourism consumption-based emissions also dropped in 2020 due to the lack of travel during COVID-19 restrictions, she added.