Why you need to calculate how much carbon is in your forest land
You must calculate how much carbon is in your forest land every time you prepare an emissions return. This is so you can work out how much the amount of carbon in the forest land has changed.
- If your emissions return shows an increase in carbon, you may be entitled to New Zealand Units (NZUs or units).
- If it shows a decrease in carbon, you may need to pay units to the government. This is known as "surrendering" units.
How to calculate carbon in forest land
There are specific rules for how to calculate carbon and steps you must complete before you can do your calculations.
Using carbon tables for calculating carbon
Trees store different amounts of carbon as they grow. To calculate how much carbon is in your forest land, you need to know what these amounts are. Carbon tables provide this information.
Identifying forest type, region, and age for calculating carbon
The amount of carbon stored in your forest will depend on the characteristics of your forest land. There are specific rules for how to identify these in the ETS.
Grouping areas of forest with the same characteristics
When you calculate how much carbon is in your forest land, you must do your calculations separately for areas of forest with different characteristics.
Calculating carbon for post-1989 forest land
If you have post-1989 land in the ETS, you have to regularly report on changes to the carbon stock. To do this you need to calculate how much carbon is in your forest land.
Calculating carbon for post-1989 forest land using averaging accounting
If you’re using averaging accounting for post-1989 forest land in the ETS, there are some differences to the calculations for your emissions returns. Find out what you need to do.
Calculating carbon for pre-1990 forest land
If you deforest pre-1990 forest land without an exemption, you need to report how much carbon was in the forest. You must be able to calculate this amount.
Getting your calculations right
The process of calculating carbon can be difficult and time-consuming. You can appoint someone to do this for you.
Your carbon calculations must be correct and complete. Otherwise, you could end up earning or paying more units than you should. If you submit an incorrect emissions return, you may face a penalty or infringement notice.