Recent changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme

Property

Forestry (including farm forestry) was the first sector to join the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). As a result, owners of forests may have obligations to account for Emission Trading Units (ETUs) if they deforest or change land uses away from forestry.

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is a way of meeting the Government’s international obligations to reduce the effects of global climate change.

The purpose of the ETS is to provide incentives to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency by placing a price on emissions and introducing a means of trading “carbon units”.

Each sector of the economy has different obligations under the ETS. Forestry (including farm forestry) was the first sector to join. As a result, owners of forests may have obligations to account for Emission Trading Units (ETUs) if they deforest or change land uses away from forestry.

Recently, the Government made some changes to the ETS in terms of how forest owners can discharge their carbon liabilities – for example, where an owner wishes to leave the ETS. These changes mean that the owners may no longer be able to use international Kyoto units to discharge their obligations under the ETS.

If you own land with forestry blocks or plantations, or you are buying or selling rural property that has trees planted on it, you may require advice about your obligations under the ETS. Our skilled rural team can assist you in this area.

For further information, please contact Richard Parkes on 03 339 5610 or Caroline Mason on 03 339 5606.

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