Preliminary Evidence on Responses to the New Zealand Forestry Emissions Trading Scheme

New Zealand is the first country to implement a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that includes a forestry component as part of its contribution to global climate mitigation and as a strategy for compliance with the international climate change agreement the Kyoto Protocol.

The goal of this paper is to provide information on forestry's role in the New Zealand ETS such that a foreign policymaker will be able to understand the intricacies and issues of the New Zealand system and be able to apply this knowledge to the design of his or her own ETS.

This paper also aims to provide useful documentation of the system as it stands in 2010 for the New Zealand Parliament to use in future reviews of the system. The paper first provides a brief outline of the role of forestry in New Zealand's ETS, including the reasons for its inclusion in the greater system and the rules by which forestry operates within the system. This paper then analyses these rules, indicating the reasons behind the inclusion of certain provisions where the reasoning may not be immediately clear. Finally, this paper provides both quantitative and qualitative data on how well the system is working so far, whether the system is operating as predicted, and why any discrepancies between predicted and actual outcomes arise.