Government to clarify use of international units in the ETS

  • Tim Groser
Climate Change Issues

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser announced today that the Government is looking to clarify the domestic carry-over provisions in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“I have requested that officials look into the carry-over provisions and what needs to be done under the Act.

“Clarifying the rules for carry-over of international units would provide ETS participants with certainty about how the international carry-over rules will be applied domestically,” says Mr Groser.

In 2015, New Zealand will be required to surrender emissions units equal to its emissions over the first Kyoto commitment period (CP1, which runs from 2008 to 2012).

Under international Kyoto carry-over rules, any units in the New Zealand Emission Unit Register (EUR) that have not been approved for carry-over after this time will be cancelled and will not be eligible in future periods. Exactly how these international rules will be applied domestically has yet to be finalised. Any rules will only apply to international units generated during CP1 and New Zealand Units (NZUs) will not be affected. Any proposals will be subject to Cabinet approval and public consultation.

The Government is also reviewing the eligibility of certain units in the ETS.

“I have also asked officials to look into the environmental integrity of some units following concerns raised that the restrictions we placed on some Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs) last year were not encompassing enough.

“We need to make sure that New Zealand continues to do its fair share, alongside other countries, to combat the effects of climate change while ensuring that the ETS doesn’t have an unreasonable impact on businesses and households in this time of economic recovery,” says Mr Groser.

Any changes to the eligibility of Kyoto units in the ETS would be subject to Cabinet approval and public consultation.