Regulations being developed for international carbon credits

  • David Parker
Climate Change Issues

The government is developing regulations to specify the carbon credits known as assigned amount units that will be accepted for compliance with the emissions trading scheme, Climate Change Minister David Parker announced today.

"The ETS legislation allows imported assigned amount units, or AAUs, to be surrendered under the New Zealand emissions trading scheme, but only where these AAUs meet the environmental conditions specified in regulations," David Parker said.

"It's important that people buying AAUs to comply with the emissions trading scheme know exactly which ones they'll be allowed to surrender. The regulations will need to be worked through carefully to make sure the classes of AAUs that will be accepted are clearly defined.

"Where a country has AAUs for sale for reasons other than successful domestic emissions reduction policy, the government will be seeking assurances that the units have been appropriately ‘greened'.

"One obvious example of a greening arrangement is where the seller country has legislation in place requiring all revenue from AAU sales to be invested in emissions reduction or other environmental projects.

"AAUs from countries with strong emissions reduction policies are also likely to be accepted. In future, if the New Zealand scheme is linked with another country's emissions trading scheme, then AAUs from that country would also be accepted."

The draft regulations are being prepared now and will be released early in the new year. There will be an opportunity for the public to make submissions before the regulations are finalised.

The regulations are expected to be issued in June 2009 and come into force three months later.

For more information about the emissions trading scheme, visit or call 0800 CLIMATE (254 628).