EU and New Zealand to strengthen cooperation on emissions trading systems

  • Hon James Shaw
Climate Change

At the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) in Katowice, European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw met and agreed to strengthen their bilateral cooperation on emissions trading systems.

Commissioner Arias Cañete and Minister Shaw issued the following media announcement:

Building on our 10 plus years of experience with emissions trading systems and our shared commitment to environmental integrity in those markets, we agreed today to step up our cooperation, intensifying exchanges on this key climate policy tool to deliver on the Paris goals.

The EU and New Zealand will hold regular technical and policy meetings to discuss the key design features and implementation of our emissions trading systems, respective developments and possible implementation challenges, with a view to exploring options towards enhanced cooperation between the two systems.

Commissioner Arias Cañete emphasised that:

“Both the EU and New Zealand are committed to ambitious action on climate change and to a low-carbon economy. We both have successfully put in place emission trading systems since many years. Our respective systems are key pillars of our climate policies, and we are keen to intensify our cooperation on carbon markets to best contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and together contribute to the promotion of emissions trading as a climate mitigation policy.”

Minister Shaw stressed that:

“First and foremost, New Zealand is focusing on ambitious domestic action and transitioning the economy to a low emissions future. We acknowledge how critical it is to develop high integrity carbon markets, and the value of cooperation. Cooperation with other partners takes on even greater importance following COP24. We have enormous respect for the EU’s experience and expertise and look forward to deepening our connections as we implement our commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

The European Commission and New Zealand will also continue to work together in the Florence Process, which brings together representatives of the key jurisdictions with carbon market policies, including China, Canada and California, to address issues of common interest.


The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) covers some 45 per cent of EU greenhouse gas emissions in 31 countries, has been in operation since 2005, and is set to deliver a reduction of 43 per cent in EU emissions from the sectors covered by 2030.

The New Zealand ETS covers all sectors apart from agriculture. The independent Interim Climate Change Committee is considering whether and how agricultural methane and nitrous oxide might become covered by the NZ ETS. The NZ ETS is domestic only and has been in operation since 2008.

Some 88 countries are planning to use carbon pricing to meet their Paris goals, with 25 jurisdictions implementing cap and trade programs.

 Parties to the Paris Agreement decided at COP24 that further work was needed on the implementation of Article 6 of the Agreement. That work will continue next year.