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Projects to reduce emissions (PRE)

What is the PRE Programme?

The New Zealand Government launched the Projects to Reduce Emissions (PRE) Programme in 2003 to support initiatives that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There were two trial projects and two contestable tender rounds – the first tender round in 2003 and the second in 2004. The incentive for tendering for PRE was the provision of emissions units, or "carbon credits". These are internationally tradable and added to the financial value of the project.

The main criterion of PRE was for projects to reduce emissions beyond business-as-usual reduction goals. This helped to bring forward projects that would not otherwise be 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 means that they could be counted towards New Zealand’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

There have been 19 projects completed in the PRE programme. Some produce renewable energy by using natural resources such as water, wind, or steam from geothermal activity. Others turn waste into energy. Project owners are private or publicly-listed companies, state-owned enterprises, and local authorities.

Now the first commitment period has ended, the PRE programme has concluded.

PRE and the Kyoto Protocol

PRE projects were eligible to become Joint Implementation (JI) initiatives. This meant that PRE project owners could sell the emission units they ‘earned’ through the JI mechanism.

JI is a flexibility mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol. JI allows Annex I (industrialised) countries to work together to jointly implement projects that will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. JI enables Annex I countries to meet part of their required cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by paying for projects that reduce emissions in other Annex I countries. In return they receive emission reduction units (ERUs). This means that countries, or entities within those countries, can find the least-cost method for meeting their emission targets.

The Ministry for the Environment is the JI ‘Designated Focal Point’ to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for New Zealand and as such is responsible for approving JI projects in New Zealand.

PRE projects that have been given approval to become JI initiatives are listed here:
Notice of approval of Track One Joint Implementation Projects by the New Zealand Government

Last updated: 29 October 2013