New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions fell by 7% in 2009 compared with the previous year, Government figures show.
In the electricity sector, the reduction was 24%, because wet weather kept hydro lakes full and generators burnt less coal to make electricity.
Emissions from the transport sector fell by 2% as fewer vehicles used the roads in the recession.
The Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith, says he expects emissions to rise again as the recession fades.
Environmental group Greenpeace says a more fundamental change is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.