This page provides information on the Projects to Reduce Emissions Programme and Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements which were former government initiatives to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Projects to Reduce Emissions Programme
The New Zealand Government launched the Projects to Reduce Emissions (PRE) Programme in 2003 to support initiatives that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The incentive for tendering for PRE was the provision of emissions units, or ‘carbon credits’ in return for emission reductions. An emission unit represents one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or the equivalent of any other greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide equivalent). Emission units were internationally tradable and added to the financial value of the project.
The main criterion for projects
The main criterion of PRE was for projects to reduce emissions beyond business-as-usual reduction goals. This helped bring forward projects that would not otherwise have been economic. The greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to occur over the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012).
Projects also had to take place in New Zealand and result in a reduction in the total greenhouse gas emissions reported in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory. This meant that they were counted towards New Zealand’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.
Now the first commitment period has ended, the PRE Programme has concluded.
|Table of completed projects from the Projects to Reduce Emissions Programme|
|Project owner||Project||Emission units available|
|Christchurch City Council||Burwood Landfill Gas Utilisation Project||200,000|
|Energy for Industry||Nelson Landfill Gas Utilisation Project||28,000|
|Genesis Power Ltd||Extension to the Hau Nui wind farm||50,550|
|Geothermal Developments Ltd||KA24 geothermal project||130,931|
|HG Leach & Co||Tirohia Landfill Gas||28,000|
|Meridian Energy Ltd||Te Apiti wind farm||530,000|
|Meridian Energy Ltd||Project White Hill wind farm||642,469|
|Mighty River Power Ltd||Rotokawa geothermal electricity generation project||790,923|
|Mighty River Power Ltd||Putauaki Geothermal Project||1,209,904|
|NZ Windfarms Ltd||Te Rere Hau windfarm project||410,296|
|Northpower||Wairua Hydro Scheme Capacity Increase||17,155|
|Palmerston North City Council||Awapuni Landfill Project||149,006|
|Rotorua District Council||Rotorua Landfill Gas project||3,033|
|Todd Energy Ltd||McKee Mangahewa Cogeneration project||37,645|
|TrustPower Ltd||Tararua wind farm II||228,000|
|TrustPower Ltd||Waipori Hydro Project||72,695|
|TrustPower Ltd||Taranaki Hydro Project||10,208|
|TrustPower Ltd||Tararua Wind Farm Stage III||971,250|
|Watercare Services Ltd||Mini Hydro-electricity generation projects||5,400|
|Total emission units available||5,515,465|
Joint Implementation initiatives
PRE projects were eligible to become Joint Implementation (JI) initiatives. This meant that project owners could sell the emission units they ‘earned’ through the Kyoto Protocol’s JI mechanism. The following link lists PRE projects that were approved as JI initiatives.
New Zealand JI projects [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website]
Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements
In 2007, the Government intended to introduce a carbon tax initially set at $15 a tonne of carbon dioxide. This tax was to apply to carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas, petrol; and from industrial processes.
The Government introduced Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements (NGA) for firms or industries that, as a result of the carbon tax, faced significant risk to their competitiveness relative to producers in countries with less stringent climate change policies.
To reduce the impact of the carbon tax on these New Zealand firms, the Crown entered into negotiations for a NGA with firms that met the eligibility criteria.
NGAs were negotiated with Refining New Zealand and OceanaGold Limited before the Government decided not to proceed with its proposed carbon tax. No further NGAs were entered into.
The NGA with OceanaGold Limited concluded on 31 December 2012 and the NGA with Refining New Zealand concludes on 31 December 2022.