About participating in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

This section contains guidance for sectors who participate directly in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Ways of participating in the NZ ETS

People and businesses can participate directly in the NZ ETS in three ways:

  • Some will have obligations to surrender New Zealand Units (NZUs) when they carry out certain activities. They are required to participate in the scheme. See About obligations for more information. Guidance on Surrendering units is also available.
  • Some may have opportunities to earn NZUs. They can choose to participate in the scheme.
  • Some will be allocated NZUs as compensation for increased costs under the scheme. They can participate in the scheme because, if they apply for and receive an allocation, they can trade their NZUs. See About allocations for more information.

It's possible for one business to participate in all three ways – surrendering, earning, and receiving allocations of NZUs.

Sector roles and entry dates

The table below shows how different sectors participate in the ETS, and when they enter the scheme. Click on the links for specific information on how businesses in that sector participate in the ETS.

Sector Surrenders NZUs Earns NZUs Allocated NZUs Year of entry
Forestry 2008
Energy     2010
Fishing     2010
Industry   2010
Liquid fossil fuels     2010
Synthetic gases     2013
Waste     2013

Ensuring compliance with the ETS

The Environmental Projection Authority (EPA) is responsible under the Climate Change Response Act 2002 for ensuring compliance with the ETS. The EPA encourages people involved in the ETS to follow the rules, and responds when it seems that people are falling short of their obligations.

The information sheet Ensuring Compliance with the ETS (PDF, 98 KB) outlines the EPA's compliance assurance framework for the ETS.