Forestry improvements for the Emissions Trading Scheme

Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Climate Change Minister James Shaw have released a consultation paper proposing 12 improvements to forestry regulations in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

“Expanding the forestry industry’s capacity is essential to the success of the One Billion Trees programme, and ensuring the ETS works better is an integral part of this,” Shane Jones said.

“We have listened to the sector and these improvements are another step towards making investment and participation in forestry easier and cheaper,” Shane Jones said.

“Increased forestry is a vital aspect of New Zealand doing its bit to address climate change,” James Shaw said.

“We’re hoping to make some straight-forward, practical changes soon to improve the ETS for people who plant trees.

“The proposals take into account feedback from the 2015/16 NZ ETS Review, along with insights from the submission of mandatory emissions returns from the 2,300 forestry participants in the scheme.

“We will be coming back to the sector to get their input on more improvements to the ETS later this year, as the Government is very aware we need to address issues that are currently seen as blocks to participation in the scheme,” James Shaw said. 

There are 12 proposals being consulted on, including:

  • Forest owners with 100 hectares or more in the scheme only needing to update their lookup tables once every five years
  • Providing more flexibility regarding waivers for owners of over 100 ha around the collection of field data near the end of the five-yearly mandatory emissions returns
  • Closing of an unanticipated loophole related to the deforestation of post-1989 forest, and its subsequent replanting and re-entry into the scheme.

The other nine proposals correct or improve technical issues, or address areas where the regulations aren’t working as intended.

Media contact: Georgina Stylianou 021 137 0630 (Minister Jones) and Peter Stevens 021 871 354 (Minister Shaw)

Note to editors:

Submissions on the consultation document are open until 3 July 2018. Ministers will consider final proposals arising from the documents later in 2018, and any new or amended regulations would come into force in early 2019.

The consultation document is available at http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations.

Other changes to the NZETS affecting forestry are also being developed, but these would require amendments to the primary legislation (the Climate Change Response Act).