ETS Framework in New Zealand

The NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) evolved out of a commitment our government made in 1998 when it became a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. As a participant NZ had to adopt a range of policies and actions to reduce its carbon emissions to below the level they were at in 1990.

All of the 190 countries who signed had to report to the United Nations every 5 years.

In its first Commitment Report Period (CP1) NZ had to determine what its annual carbon emissions would be. These were calculated at 65 million tonnes a year, or a total of 309,000 tonnes of net emissions for the CP1 period of 5 years. The United Nations then issued NZ the estimated carbon units, now called NZU’s, and they form the basis of the Emissions Trading Scheme and our obligations. 

CP1 ended 31st December 2012.

In 2009 the Government decided that New Zealand would not sign up for the second Commitment Report Period under the Kyoto Protocol. Instead, the emissions reduction commitment for 2013-2020 is under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Government’s aim with this change was to put NZ in a better position for obligations from 2020 onwards. 

In December 2015 delegates from all over the world attended a climate change meeting in Paris. The purpose of this meeting was to form a new international climate change agreement that would come into force after 2020 and apply to all countries worldwide. The basis of the agreement is to limit global temperature increases since pre-industrial times to 2 Degrees Celcius. 

Whether or not you agree with NZ being involved in this United Nations driven initiative to reduce the impacts of climate change, there is no denying that forests and the forest industry has a key role to play.

“The only way forward for climate and country is to get out there and plant more trees”

- A. Laurie

You can read more about what we at Laurie Forestry believe here  A Personal Perspective