Regulations for Agriculture in the NZ ETS

The Government has announced decisions on the ETS. More details are available at  The Government has changed the regulations that define how emissions are calculated for agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). More details are available at Recent changes to the regulations for agriculture in the ETS.

The Climate Change (Agriculture Sector) Regulations 2010 outline the information that agricultural participants must collect and the methodologies for calculating annual emissions. Default emission factors are provided for each activity (e.g. emissions per tonne of milk solids processed or per tonne of carcass weight at slaughter).

Exemption and thresholds from participation in the ETS for agriculture are described in the Climate Change General Exemptions Order 2009.

The regulations relating to agriculture in the ETS can be found at:

Who is a participant in the ETS for agriculture?

The Climate Change Response Act 2002 defines four categories of agricultural participants in the ETS based on their activities. A participant is a person or organisation that does one or more of these activities. The activities (and exemptions for these activities) are set out below.

Dairy processors

A person who carries out dairy processing of milk or colostrum from cows or heifers.

Exemptions apply to persons who:

  • are not required to have a risk management programme for dairy processing under the Animal Products Act 1999;
  • carry out dairy processing of milk or colostrum from goats or sheep.

Meat processors

A person who:

  • carries out the activity of slaughtering for human consumption: cattle, deer, goats, pigs, poultry, or sheep; and
  • is the operator of a risk management programme registered under the Animal Products Act 1999 for the slaughter of animals.

Exemptions apply to:

  • calves, vealers, horses, layer hens (egg producers), and ruminant animals other than cattle, sheep, deer and goats;
  • livestock not intended for human consumption.

Live animal exporters

A person who exports from New Zealand live cattle, sheep, or pigs in accordance with an animal welfare export certificate.

Exemptions apply to persons who export: in the case of cattle, less than 20 cattle per annum; in the case of sheep, less than 20 sheep per annum; and in the case of pigs, less than 20 pigs per annum.

Nitrogen fertiliser importers or manufacturers

A person importing or manufacturing synthetic fertilisers containing nitrogen.

Exemptions apply to persons who import or manufacture less than 1 tonne of synthetic fertiliser per annum.

Who is not a participant?

Wool and Velvet processors

Wool and velvet production is not included in the ETS due to both administrative and practical issues.

Egg producers

Egg producers are not included in the ETS, to reflect the compliance costs of including this very small emissions source.

Other exemptions and thresholds

Exemptions and thresholds also apply to various activities carried out by meat and milk processor, live animal exporters and the importing or manufacturing of synthetic fertilisers containing nitrogen. See "who is a participant" above for more detail.

How are agricultural emissions calculated?

Agricultural emissions are calculated using emissions factors prescribed in regulation. The regulations define the emissions per tonne of product processed (e.g. emissions per tonne of milk solids or per tonne of carcass weight). Emissions are expressed in carbon dioxide-equivalents (CO2-e). In the ETS, one emission unit (e.g. NZU) represents one tonne of CO2-e.

When do agricultural participants have to start reporting emissions?

Agricultural participants must report their emissions from 1 January 2012. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) administers the ETS for agriculture. The EPA is responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the ETS and is the main compliance and enforcement agency, responsible for verifying that participants comply with the scheme. The EPA also runs the New Zealand Emission Unit Register.



Last Updated: 07 February 2013

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