NZ Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations update

Friday 4 Nov 2022

New Zealand’s new Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022 have been published. These regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2023 - at the same time as most of the changes relating to forestry in the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020. Until 2023, the existing 2008 Regulations will continue to apply.

Climate Change (Forestry) Regulations 2022 – NZ Legislation

What do these changes mean for you?

- From 1 January 2023, all forests newly registered in the ETS will be subject to either the new ‘averaging accounting’ method for calculating unit entitlement and surrenders or the new permanent post-1989 forestry category.

- If you have forest where the application occurred after 1 January 2019 and the land was registered before 31 December 2022, you can choose to move those forests to ‘averaging accounting’. If you decide to move to averaging, you will need to notify us and complete a special emissions return. If you want to remain on stock change you do not need to do anything.

Carbon Accounting in the ETS - MPI website

- The new permanent forestry category will become available next year for post-1989 forest land in the NZ ETS, and will not be able to be clear-felled for 50 years after it is registered as a permanent forest.

Permanent forests in the ETS - MPI website

- There is a new exemption from carbon liabilities for those with forests that have been partly or fully cleared by a temporary adverse event, such as a fire or a landslide.

- There is a new ability to offset liabilities for planted averaging forests which are older than the average age if you intend to deregister or deforest. Rather than surrender units for their deforestation liability, the participants can elect to establish an equivalent forest elsewhere.

Training courses and other learning resources for the new online forestry ETS system will be available in December and January, coinciding with the period to submit emissions returns for the 2018 - 2022 Mandatory Emissions Return Period. Full details of all training and education opportunities over the next few months will be outlined by MPI.

Source: MPI

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