New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions have increased significantly since 1990. This article examines how the fact of increasing emissions is discussed and given significance in New Zealand's national public discourse on climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions became a serious public concern on 17 June 2005, when the New Zealand government estimated a $307 million Kyoto Protocol liability in its 2005 financial statements. Conservative media coverage of this report emphasised governmental miscalculation, the financial liabilities generated by Kyoto Protocol regulations and a struggle between Climate Change Minister Peter Hodgson and industry voices over how to define the problem. This article links the arguments and discursive strategies used in the 17 June 2005 newspaper coverage of increasing greenhouse gas emissions to the institutional actors shaping New Zealand climate change policy. The increased effectiveness of industry challenges to government climate change policy is noted and discussed.