[10 January/NZ Herald]

Following public consultation in August and September, the first of two planned tranches of improvements to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have been announced. The improvements seek to provide more certainty to scheme participants and create a more effective and fairer ETS. Key announcements were viewed as improvements making the ETS easier and less costly for forest owners, a framework for making unit supply decisions will be established, and reporting the $25 per tonne fixed price option for surrenders will not be changed in 2019. These improvements, together with the second tranche of decisions expected in early 2019, will be introduced to Parliament in mid-2019 as an amendment to the Climate Change Response Act 2002. The second tranche will include decisions regarding a new accounting option for post-1989 forests in the ETS called averaging. Majority of the 250 plus submissions received were from businesses and industry groups, iwi and Māori, community groups and individuals.