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Launch of register for Kyoto units

Launch of register for Kyoto units

The New Zealand Emission Unit Register went live today as part of New Zealand’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change Minister David Parker announced.

“The New Zealand Emission Unit Register (NZEUR) is a requirement of New Zealand’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, and is the mechanism for the issuing, holding, transferring and retiring of Kyoto-related emission units that are monitored by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” David Parker said.

“The purpose of the registry system is to check that each country that is party to the Kyoto Protocol has met its emission target at the end of a commitment period. At the end of the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012, New Zealand must ensure there are enough emission units to retire to meet New Zealand’s commitment to keep average annual greenhouse gas emissions at or below the 1990 level.”

The NZEUR is now operational for persons and organisations to open an account. However, transactions of emission units between account holders or between Parties to Kyoto will take place within and between the national registries from 1 January 2008, and for many, not until 2009.

“The NZEUR will be primarily used by persons, companies or organisations allocated Kyoto units by the government as participants in the Ministry for the Environment’s Projects to Reduce Emissions and Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements programmes, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Permanent Forest Sink Initiative.

“Participants in these programmes will need to have opened an account in the NZEUR before Kyoto units are allocated to them by the government in 2009. Other persons, companies or organisations may want to also open accounts in the NZEUR for the purpose of buying and trading Kyoto units from overseas.

“The NZEUR can also be used by the general public to search the register for account holders and transactional information,” said David Parker.

Information on the register is available on the NZEUR website at www.nzeur.govt.nz or by calling on free phone 0508 227 887. Overseas callers can call +64 3 962 2708.

Questions and answers: New Zealand Emission Unit Register

1. What is the New Zealand Emission Unit Register (NZEUR)?
The NZEUR is New Zealand’s national registry that has been established as part of our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. The NZEUR will hold Kyoto emission units on behalf of New Zealand. Information on the NZEUR is available on the register’s information website at www.nzeur.govt.nz.

2. How does the NZEUR work?
Likened to an online banking system, the NZEUR is a wholly electronic register accessible via the internet. It contains multiple accounts and allows the transfer of emission units between those accounts and accounts in registries of other Parties (countries) to the Kyoto Protocol.

Transactions must comply with rules specified by the Kyoto Protocol. Some restrictions apply, for example, units can not be transferred if their transfer would mean the overall balance of units within the NZEUR would fall below the Commitment Period Reserve which is 90 percent of the total balance.

3. What are emission units?
Emission units correspond to greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol covers six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride). The NZEUR will only hold emission units provided for under the Kyoto Protocol.

4. Why would I open an account in the NZEUR?
The government will award Kyoto units to existing participants to the Ministry for the Environment’s Projects to Reduce Emissions and Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements programmes, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Permanent Forest Sink Initiative. Participants in these programmes will need to have opened an account before Kyoto units are allocated to them by the government in 2009.

5. Who else can open accounts in the NZEUR?
Individuals, i.e. natural persons and legal entities other than trusts, can open holding accounts in the NZEUR for the purpose of holding or trading Kyoto units either domestically or internationally.

6. What if we want to open an account from overseas?
Overseas companies wanting to open an account in the NZEUR must first be registered in the New Zealand Companies Register (go to www.companies.govt.nz for more information or call +64 3 962 2602).

7. How do I open an account in the NZEUR?
You need to be a registered user to open an account. To fill out the online application go to www.eur.govt.nz or link from the NZEUR information website at www.nzeur.govt.nz.

For security reasons, you will not be able to log on and use the NZEUR until your registration has been reviewed and approved by the Registrar. Approval will be based on eligibility according to criteria set out in the Climate Change (Unit Register) Regulations 2007 (at www.legislation.govt.nz).
8. What will it cost to use the NZEUR?
There are no fees for the use of the NZEUR.

9. Can I use the NZEUR to hold my AAUs/RMUs/CERs?
The NZEUR can be used to hold Kyoto units transferred in from an overseas registry. However, certain rules apply. New Zealand legislation allows for Temporary Certified Emission Reduction units (TCERs) to be entered in the NZEUR. Long Term Certified Emission Reduction units (LCERs) are not allowed. In addition, New Zealand legislation prohibits the NZEUR from holding any units arising from Joint Implementation or Clean Development Mechanism projects that involve nuclear energy. To hold any type of units in the NZEUR you must first have fulfilled the criteria for a New Zealand registered entity, and then apply for user login and a holding account.

10. How do I transfer units from another registry to the NZEUR?
Prior to transferring units you must have a holding account in the NZEUR.
The transfer of units must be done according to the rules of the overseas registry from which units are to be transferred. Please check for specific rules of transfer with the respective overseas registry.

11. How does the NZEUR fit in with the proposed New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS)?
The NZEUR has been implemented to meet New Zealand’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, whereas the proposed NZETS will be a domestic scheme implemented by the New Zealand government to facilitate the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Both the NZEUR and the proposed NZETS are part of the government’s response to climate change. Further information on the proposed NZETS can be found at www.climatechange.govt.nz.

12. What is an emissions trading scheme?
‘Emissions trading’ is a market-based approach for achieving environmental objectives. A cap and trade emissions trading scheme sets an overall limit on the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions that can be emitted. Entities can then engage in secondary trading of emissions units in order to meet their emissions obligations or trade surplus units.

13. Do potential NZETS participants need to open an account in the NZEUR?
Those entities that are likely to be participants with unit obligations in the proposed NZETS are not required to open an account in the NZEUR at this stage.
Only those entities that will be allocated Kyoto units from the government as part of the Ministry for the Environment’s Projects to Reduce Emissions and Negotiated Greenhouse Agreements programmes and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Permanent Forest Sink Initiative will be required to open an account.

14. How does the NZEUR fit in with the voluntary carbon markets?
The NZEUR is separate and independent to voluntary carbon markets and registers. The NZEUR is the only official register for Kyoto units – any forward registration of Kyoto units in voluntary markets is done outside of the regulatory and legislative framework and is not backed by the NZEUR.


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