NZ ETS market information portal
This landing page gives participants in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and other stakeholders a portal to NZ ETS market information.
The purpose is to make it easier to access NZ ETS-related information to support informed-decision making by participants. By providing market information clearly in a way that ensures equal access, we are seeking to ensure that participants are able to achieve compliance with their NZ ETS obligations at minimum costs.
What is NZ ETS market information?
NZ ETS market information is any information that may help NZ ETS participants to make informed decisions in relation to NZUs, particularly understanding and making forecasts of future NZU prices.
The market information is important for a well-functioning NZ ETS because it enables participants to make informed decisions regarding their emissions abatement options. Broadly, the decision that needs to be made is whether to purchase NZUs from the market or undertake abatement activities to directly reduce emissions. The NZU price is a key variable as part of this decision-making.
By providing market information clearly, in a way that ensures equal access, we are seeking to ensure that participants are able to achieve compliance with their NZ ETS obligations at minimum costs.
There are three types of market information
Data relating to market fundamentals - the supply and demand of NZUs now and in the future. This information is important for forming views about future NZU prices.
Data relating to market transactions - NZUs being transferred between accounts, typically through trades that take place on the secondary spot market. Both market participants and other stakeholders such as financial intermediaries are regularly engaged in secondary spot market trading. This information is important because it provides transparency regarding the trading of NZUs in the market.
Qualitative information relating to policy and regulatory changes – including policy or regulatory changes to the NZ ETS itself and in some instances other policies and legislation. This information can be important for forming views about future NZU prices.
Access data related to these three types of market information by clicking on the tabs.
Unit supply and demand: emissions and removals
Information on unit flow in the NZ ETS and how this relates to emissions and emission removals that occur in New Zealand.
Projected NZ ETS unit flow
Historical emissions information
Historical unit information
Forecasts of supply and demand of units (see below)
Planted production forests see Deforestation surveys and Forest land under the NZ ETS. [Te Uru Rākau website]
Historical emissions (inventory)
Planted production forests see forest land under the NZ ETS, National Exotic Forest Description and NEFD Yield tables. [Te Uru Rākau website]
Historical surrenders and allocations are provided in annual EPA reports
Transaction trends [EPA website]
Transactions by volume
Supply and demand of ETS units
An increase in emissions implies that the demand for NZ ETS emissions units (NZUs) will increase, as participants will need to pay more NZUs to the Government to meet their liabilities in the NZ ETS.
Carbon removal activities that earn NZUs (such as forestry) will generally increase the available supply.
Over 90% of removal activities are forests planted after 1989 that are in the scheme on a voluntary basis. This means that actual unit flow in the NZ ETS is dependent on if and when businesses enter the NZ ETS to earn units. This creates an extra challenge in projecting unit flows in the NZ ETS and is why information on forestry has been provided separately.
Projected NZ ETS unit flows
Forecasts of NZ ETS unit surrenders and unit allocations for the next five calendar years are provided below. NZUs can be ‘banked’ in private accounts and are eligible for use to meet NZ ETS obligations. This stockpile of banked units creates a liability for the Government, and the forecast of the stockpile is also provided below. These forecasts are prepared to inform the Government’s annual Budget Economic and Fiscal Update [Treasury website].
Millions of emissions units
Forecast allocations/entitlements (supply)
Banked NZ ETS units
Detailed assumptions and sector specific forecasts are provided in this Data file [Excel, 73 KB].
Notes on this table:
- the forecast surrender, and banked NZ ETS units assume that all participants will surrender units to the Crown to meet their obligations in the NZ ETS.
- the NZ ETS unit flow projections are based on current policy settings at the time of preparing the forecast for the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (March 2019). Any changes to NZ ETS settings or policies made as part of the Improvements to the NZ ETS are likely to have a stronger effect on projections from 2021 onwards, including any changes to forestry accounting rules. The Ministry will update the forecast as newer data and emissions projections become available.
There are three types of historical information that are relevant to market transactions.
- Numbers and types of emissions units transferred between accounts in the past [EPA website]
- Transaction trends [EPA website]
- Transactions by volume [EPA website]
It is important to understand that not all of these emission unit transfers represent trades in the market. Some of these unit transfers will have occurred as participants with multiple accounts move units between them, or market intermediaries aggregate or disaggregate units from individual participants prior to (or following on from) market trades.
There are three types of information that are relevant to market transactions.
- Policy changes that affect the design of the NZ ETS
- Policy and regulatory changes that affect operational or technical elements of the NZ ETS
- Policy changes to other relevant legislation
Information about policy changes that affect the design of the NZ ETS
These changes can directly influence supply and demand of NZUs. Such policy changes are most relevant, and information about these changes can also be viewed as information about market fundamentals.
Proposed changes to the design of the NZ ETS
- For information regarding the proposed improvements to the framework of the NZ ETS see here. Consultation on improvements to the NZ ETS was held during August and September 2018. The first tranche of decisions to the NZ ETS based on this consultation and on the Government’s in-principle decisions made in 2017 was announced in December 2018. A second tranche of changes was announced in May 2019, see Proposed improvements to the NZ ETS.
- For information regarding the proposed changes to forestry in the NZ ETS see Emissions Trading Scheme on the Ministry for Primary Industries website. For the consultation document and related information see A better Emissions Trading Scheme for forestry on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.
Information about policy and regulatory changes that affect operational or technical elements of the NZ ETS
Policy and regulatory changes that affect operational or technical elements of the NZ ETS changes are also important but they do not always impact NZU supply and demand, or in some cases only do so indirectly. Typically these changes will be more relevant for operational and practical reasons rather than due to their impact on NZU supply and demand.
Current proposed changes
- For information regarding current proposed policy and regulatory changes see here.
Information about policy changes to other relevant legislation
Policy changes to other legislation can also be relevant in some instances. For example, the Zero Carbon Bill is relevant to the NZ ETS market as it is likely to affect the level of domestic ambition and therefore NZU supply and demand. Significant announcements about other policies and legislation such as the Zero Carbon Bill will be made available on this website.
Current proposed changes
- For information regarding current proposed policy changes to other relevant legislation see for example the proposed Zero Carbon Bill available here.
21 September - Consultation on the NZ ETS improvements including forestry closed. Thanks for sharing your views. Find out more
12 December - First set of forestry and non-forestry changes to the NZ ETS announced. Find out more
The phased removal of the one-for-two transitional measure will result in full obligations for activity occurring during 2019. Note, forestry has always faced full surrender obligations.
1 January - Surrender obligations across all sectors reaches 100% (last stage of the phased removal of the one-for-two transitional measure)
31 March -Final day for annual non-forestry emission returns for calendar 2018
30 April - Final day for applying for provisional and final industrial allocations
16 May - Second set of non-forestry changes to the NZ ETS announced Find out more
31 May - Final day for non-forestry surrenders covering calendar 2018
About the NZ ETS
To find out about the aim of the NZ ETS and how it works see About the NZ ETS
If you would like to learn more about why market information is important and how it relates to the NZ ETS, see this report
For how the NZ ETS fits within the wider climate change work programme see The transition to a low-emissions and climate-resilient Aotearoa New Zealand.