A Forest

Registering a Forest

Registering your forest with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a voluntary but does enable owners to generate and sell some excess carbon credits for responsible foresting.

Registering for, and claiming, carbon credits (NZU’s) does not result in a liability other than the need to surrender the credits if the forest or woodlot suffers a carbon loss due to the likes of fire, wind or harvest.

In the event of harvest, or if the forest burns down, the carbon credits (NZU’s) lost would have to surrendered but can never exceed the total claimed.

If the NZU’s are sold to a willing buyer, there is a liability. That liability is the need to have enough credits in the account equal to the number of credits lost by harvest or fire. If there are not enough credits then you have to go on the open market and buy sufficient credits to equal to your liability.

Quite clearly carbon trading is about being able generate and sell some excess carbon credits.

The registration and carbon credit acquisition process is as follows:

  • The land or tree owner creates a holding account on the Emission Unit Register.
  • After the account opening has been approved, a registration process is undertaken with Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and this includes setting up Carbon Accounting Areas (CAA’s). These are usually calculated on likely harvest limits. MPI must then approve that registration.
  • Between January and June an Emissions Return is filed, claiming the carbon saved/used in the forest or woodlot for the previous year(s). This can be done annually, but a Mandatory Emissions Return is required at the end of CP2 which is January to March 2018.
  • On confirmation of the Emissions Return, MPI transfer the carbon credits (NZU’s) to the Participant’s holding account.
  • You can then elect to retain your carbon credits (NZU’s) in the account or sell them to a willing buyer. (Current legislation states there will be a NZ$25 per credit cap for domestic sales).

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