Government begins review of ETS

24 November 2015

The government has begun its review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) to assess its operation and effectiveness to 2020 and beyond, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced today.

"In July we set an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions after 2020," said Mr Groser.

"This review will look at how the NZ ETS may have to evolve to support New Zealand in meeting this new target.

"We also want to ensure the NZ ETS can continue to support New Zealand's transition to a low emissions economy, and that we are prepared for the costs and opportunities associated with this transition.

The review will focus on three key areas: what to do about some transition measures that were introduced to moderate the initial impacts of the NZ ETS, how the NZ ETS needs to evolve to meet our future targets, and operational and technical improvements.

A discussion document sets out the key issues for consideration under the review, which has been released on the Ministry for the Environment's website. Submissions are being called for in two stages: the first stage focusing on priority issues, closes on 19 February 2016; and the second on other matters, closes on 30 April 2016.

"The discussion document is primarily aimed at businesses, iwi, the forestry sector, energy users, and non-governmental organisations. I encourage careful consideration of the issues set out in the discussion document to inform the future direction of the NZ ETS," said Mr Groser.

"The Government has decided not to include agriculture in the scope of the review. The Government has previously said it would only bring biological emissions from agriculture fully into the NZ ETS if there were economically viable and practical technologies to reduce these emissions.

"We are putting considerable investment in research and development to find new options to reduce agricultural emissions, and we will continue to work with the agricultural sector to enable and incentivise the sector to adopt new mitigation options as they become available. However, the full inclusion of agriculture in the NZ ETS remains off the table at present," said Mr Groser.

Technical notes will be published in early 2016 to support and inform submissions. The review will involve research, analysis and stakeholder engagement. Officials will report to Ministers on the review in 2016.

Submissions can be made online, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or writing to the Ministry for the Environment, PO Box 10362, Wellington 6143. T

The discussion document can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website.