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Guidance for voluntary carbon offsetting - updated and extended until 31 December 2021

Publication date:  August 2020
Publication reference number:  ME 1511

This guide updates original guidance published in September 2019 after the Minister for Climate Change issued an the extension for the guidance to allow for the lag between emissions occurring in 2020 and when they are measured, reported and offset.

It continues to provide good practice guidelines on what a voluntary carbon offset is, the requirements for what constitutes a voluntary carbon offset and examples of how voluntary carbon offsetting can be applied in the New Zealand context.

Voluntary carbon offsetting enables an organisation to reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere outside the boundary of their organisation. Voluntary carbon offsetting is an action that should take place only after the measurement of emissions and subsequent reductions of emissions have occurred. For the voluntary carbon offset to be considered credible, it must be:

  • transparent
  • real, measurable and verified
  • additional 
  • not double counted
  • address leakage 
  • permanent.

Further information about these principles can be found in the guidance.