Government Consultation on Managing Exotic Afforestation

Last month Rural Accountants published a news piece Carbon Credit Controversy highlighting the concerns to the NZ rural sector of forestry in the ETS.

One of the main concerns is the dramatically increasing price of carbon units providing incentives for foresters to buy pastoral land and register it in the permanent post-1989 category in the NZ ETS. This means planting a forest and essentially walking away with no intention of ever harvesting.

The government has since proposed changes to the legislation and has released a discussion document open for consultation until 22 April 2022.

The three topics open for discussion include:

  • excluding exotic forests from the permanent post-1989 category in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS)
  • whether to adjust how carbon accounting applies to forests on remote and marginal to harvest land
  • opportunities for improving incentives for indigenous afforestation.

The permanent post-1989 category in the NZ ETS is due to commence on 1st January 2023. The changes are proposed to be made before this date.

The discussion document, more details and information webinars can be found on the MPI website here.

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