About the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme review 2015/16

This page provides information on the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme review 2015/16 which is currently underway.

About the review

The Government is reviewing the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) to assess how it should evolve to support New Zealand in meeting future emissions reduction targets and its ongoing transition to a low emissions economy. The review followed the announcement by the Government in July 2015 that New Zealand's post 2020 target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. 

The review is focusing on: 

  • some transitional measures introduced to moderate the impacts of the NZ ETS
  • what is required for the NZ ETS to evolve with changing circumstances including future targets 
  • operational and technical improvements 

The review is following a two-stage process. Stage one concluded in May 2016 with a decision to phase out the one-for-two transitional measure from the NZ ETS. Stage two is ongoing and the Ministry plans to provide advice on policy decisions in mid-2017. As part of stage two, the Ministry for the Environment consulted on how the NZ ETS is working and possible improvements and changes required to deliver on our Paris target. 

Submissions on stage two of the review reinforced that stakeholders want a clear and stable policy direction and continued engagement with the Government on the NZ ETS. For more information about stage two of the review see New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Review 2015/16: Stage two submissions.

Next steps

Stage two of the review is different from stage one, and consultation asked stakeholders for their views on a broad range of issues, but did not include any policy proposals. The Ministry plans to provide advice on in-principle decisions for the NZ ETS in mid-2017. If legislative changes are required to implement these decisions, we expect these changes to be made in 2018.

Outcomes from stage one of the review

For information on the outcome of the first stage of the review see Phase out of the one‐for‐two transitional measure from the Climate Change Response Act 2002.

For a summary of submissions see New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme Review 2015/16: Summary of stage one priority issues consultation responses.

Background information on consultation

The review discussion document set out the issues that the Government consulted on from 24 November 2015 to 30 April 2016, as well as the objective and drivers for the review. It also contains the terms of reference for the review. The following three technical notes were made available to support submissions on the NZ ETS review's priority issues, which were due on 19 February 2016. 

As part of stage two of the review, the following two technical notes provided information and sought feedback on specific issues relating to forestry and on operational matters that could be improved.