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Views Sought On Additional Proposals For The ETS Forestry Regulations


Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand is seeking feedback
on proposed amendments to the New Zealand Emissions Trading
Scheme (ETS) Forestry Regulations that it hopes will
encourage new planting of both indigenous and exotic
forest.

These latest proposals follow an initial round
of public consultation on amendments that was held from
November 2019 to January 2020.

Director Forestry and
Land Management Oliver Hendrickson says Te Uru Rākau has
been considering feedback and worked with forestry experts
to refine the proposals relating to the approach to carbon
accounting for forestry.

“The proposals provide
options for how the new ‘averaging accounting’ method
will work for new post-1989 forests that register with the
ETS,” Mr Hendrickson says.

“They will determine how
flexible or precise carbon accounting will be for future
forests in the ETS. This will in turn impact how easy it
will be to harvest at different times or change species on a
second rotation (for example, changing from radiata pine to
indigenous forest). They will also impact the level of
administration required by participants and when carbon
credits will be earned.

“Ultimately we are trying to
make the system simpler for all participants as undue
complexity has been a barrier to participation.”

Mr
Hendrickson says Te Uru Rākau was keen to understand how
people felt about the trade-offs and likely impacts of
various options for how averaging accounting will work in
terms of the flexibility they offer participants versus how
complex they are.

“These options will shape the
future of new forests in New Zealand and how they are
managed. However, this consultation doesn’t cover existing
forests moving to averaging. The decision about whether
registered post-1989 forests can transition to averaging
will be made by Cabinet by the end of 2021.

“These
Regulations implement the decisions and improvements to the
ETS which were passed last year while also setting the
groundwork for future decisions New Zealand will make to
support our climate change strategy. When the Climate Change
Commission’s final recommendations are published we will be
in a good position to respond.”

Mr Hendrickson says
333, 000 hectares of land were currently registered in the
ETS, for which around 6.9 million carbon credits were
claimed last year. This is equivalent to the carbon
emissions from approximately 2.3 million cars in a
year.

“The ETS plays an important part in helping
New Zealand meet its international climate change
obligations so it’s important that we take the time to get
feedback and ensure people understand the changes we are
trying to make.”

The deadline for submissions on
these proposals is 5.00pm on Friday 9 April 2021.

Find
out more about the consultation and have your
say

Background

The New Zealand Emissions
Trading Scheme (ETS) is the Government’s principal policy
response to climate change.

The ETS is established by
amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 made in
2008 to help New Zealand meet its international climate
change targets.

The Regulations will provide the
detailed rules and settings to implement the policy changes
to the ETS made through the Climate Change Response
(Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020.

The
final NZ ETS Forestry Regulations will apply to participants
from 1 January 2023. This is when most of the forestry
changes from the Amendment Act also
apply.

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