MAF issues 10 millionth forestry carbon credit

21 February 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has issued 10 million New Zealand Units (NZUs) to participants in the Emissions Trading Scheme since the first returns were processed in early 2009.

MAF Sustainable Programmes director Clive Lilley says the 10 million NZU mark was reached thanks to a strong response from post-1989 forest owners, who join the ETS voluntarily, and pre-1990 forest owners, who have a one-off chance to claim an allocation of the units, commonly known as carbon credits.

Since the start of 2009, some 7.7 million NZUs have been issued to post-1989 forest owners, including 4.5 million in 2010 alone for the 2009 year. Emission Returns for the 2010 year are being accepted and processed now with a close off date of 31 March 2011.

For pre-1990 forest landowners, who chose whether to apply for an exemption for their land, or claim an allocation of units, about 3.6 million NZUs have been allocated since applications opened in August 2010, with applications worth a further 15 million NZUs being processed at present.

Not all the pre-1990 credits will be issued straight away, as the process sees about two-thirds held over until 2013.

Applications for an allocation of NZUs for pre-1990 forest close on 30 November 2011.

Mr Lilley says the 10 million unit mark shows awareness of the ETS is growing in the forestry sector.

“The ETS has proved a complex process for both landowners and MAF staff, but getting past 10 million units shows that forest owners are becoming aware of the opportunities and requirements of the ETS, and are taking action accordingly.”

Mr Lilley urged those owners of both pre-1990 and post-1989 forest land to look at their options and make a decision well before the deadline.

“There is less than a year left for pre-1990 forest owners to apply for NZUs or an exemption for their land, so my advice is to figure out what option is best and get in touch with MAF soon."

“We’ve also seen a big year-on-year increase in interest in the ETS among voluntary participants, and we expect there to be a rush towards the end of next year when the first Kyoto Protocol Commitment Period ends."

“It would be a shame if landowners missed out on the carbon credits their forest has accrued because they left it too late to register the land.”

Forestry ETS facts:
Estimated total number of units to be allocated to pre-1990 forest landowners: 48.6m
Units allocated (one-third issued on completion of application, the remainder in 2013): 3.59m
Units associated with applications where a preliminary determination (one step away from being allocated): 2.28m
Units associated with applications where a determination is yet to be made: 13m

[estimated size of post-1989 estate in units]
Units issued in 2009: 690,000
Units issued in 2010: 4.46m
Units issued in 2011 (to 14 February): 2.57m


Last Updated: 08 March 2011

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