Once you meet your responsibilities for damaged forest
If you have post-1989 forest land in the ETS, you can apply to pause carbon accounting if a natural or accidental event damages the forest. This is known as a "temporary adverse event suspension". If your application is approved, you are responsible for re-establishing the forest and updating us on your progress.
There are 2 notices you must submit at different stages of this process:
- a re-establishment notice
- a carbon recovery notice.
Find out more about these notices and how to submit them
The order you submit the notices depends on how quickly the forest recovers the amount of carbon it had before the event. Normal carbon accounting liabilities and entitlements will restart once you’ve submitted both. This means you’ll be able to earn New Zealand Units (NZUs or units) again, and may need to pay (surrender) units if you clear the land.
Different rules apply after you submit each notice.
After you submit your re-establishment notice
Once you submit your notice about how much of the forest you have re-established, the land is treated differently depending on its status.
Land where forest has been re-established
Your new carbon accounting areas of re-established forest land have the opening unit balance calculated in your re-establishment notice.
If this forest land has not yet reached the carbon storage your forest had before the event, the suspension still applies.
Land where forest has not been re-established
Where forest has not been re-established, the pause in accounting is cancelled. You become responsible for the changes in carbon from the event and in the time since. These changes are treated as if they happened on the re-establishment date. You must account for them in the next emissions return you need to submit, and pay any units owed.
If the forest land is considered deforested, you may need to remove it from the ETS.
Find out more about when forest land is considered deforested
Find out how to remove land from the ETS
If you intentionally clear or deforest the land at any point while accounting is paused, you’ll become liable for the emissions from the original damage.
Find out more about what happens if you clear or deforest the land while accounting is paused
Land where forest is permanently prevented from being re-established
Damage from a natural event may turn out to be permanent. This means that forest is unable to be replanted or to regenerate on the land. Permanently affected land is removed from the ETS. You do not need to pay units for the removal of this land.
After you submit your carbon recovery notice
Once you submit a carbon recovery notice for a carbon accounting area, your additional responsibilities for the damaged forest are usually complete. However, if the forest recovers the amount of carbon it needs before you submit your notice on the re-establishment date, the pause in accounting continues until you have submitted both.
After you submit both the re-establishment notice and the carbon recovery notice, accounting resumes for the re-established forest. This means you can earn units again for increases in carbon. You are also liable for further decreases in carbon.
If you use averaging accounting, you need to know which forest type applies to the first rotation
If you are using the averaging accounting method for this forest land, the rotation the forest is on affects whether you can earn units for the land. If the forest was on its first rotation (harvest cycle) before the event, it is still considered a first rotation forest for ETS rules. Clearing the forest after it's been re-established will end the first rotation.
If you re-established the forest with a different forest type
You may have re-established the forest with a different forest type than was on the land before the event. If the forest had already reached its average age before the event, the forest type before the event is the type that applies for future calculations. If the forest was younger than the average age when the event happened, the forest type of the re-established forest will apply in future.