Guide to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme

Report for the Ministry for the Environment

Emissions trading    
creates a price signal that    
transforms behaviour.    

mario purisic 52769 unsplashEmissions trading is a tool for sending price signals to producers, consumers and investors that encourage and enable them to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. Globally, 25 emissions trading systems have been implemented or scheduled as of 2018.

The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) began operation in 2008 and continues to serve as a principal element of New Zealand’s policy response to climate change. This guide explains how the NZ ETS works, describes the core design features of the system, and examines how and why they have evolved over time. As national circumstances change, so too will the NZ ETS. This guide offers a snapshot of how the system operates today. It does not address potential changes signalled following the change in government in October 2017.


Ministry for the Environment