Removal activities

If you carry out an activity that removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, you might be eligible to receive New Zealand Units.

The activities described on this page do not include forestry. Forestry plays an important part in New Zealand's ability to meet its international obligations for greenhouse gas emissions by removing carbon from the atmosphere. The Ministry for Primary Industries administers the ETS for forestry and you can find all of the information on their website.

Forestry in the ETS - Ministry for Primary Industries

If you carry out an Industrial Process which is recognised as a “Removal Activity” (one which causes a reduction of global warming gases in the atmosphere) you can register with the ETS and earn New Zealand Units​ (NZUs) in proportion to the amount of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) that you remove.

Registration as a person carrying out a Removal Activity is voluntary and the criteria for eligible activities are set out in Schedule 4, Part 2 of the Climate Change Response Act 2002.

Eligible removal activities - Climate Change Response Act 2002

Eligible activities include:

  • Embedding global warming gases in a product (ie. production of methanol)
  • Storing carbon dioxide after capture
  • Exporting Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • Exporting or destroying bulk Synthetic Greenhouse Gases such as hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) or perfluorocarbon (PFC) gases
  • Exporting Synthetic Greenhouse Gases such as HFCs or PFCs in pre-charged equipment or motor vehicles
  • Destroying Synthetic Greenhouse Gases​ such as HFCs or PFCs in New Zealand
Eligibility thresholds Plus

​The Climate Change (Other Removal Activities) Regulations 2009 outline the thresholds for eligibility to register as a participant:

ActivityThreshold
Exporting bulk HFCs or PFCs ​ 1 tonne CO2e
Exporting HFCs or PFCs in pre-charged equipment 1 tonne CO2e
​Exporting HFCs or PFCs in motor vehicles 1 tonne CO2e
​Destroying HFCs or PFCs 1 tonne CO2e
​Production of methanol ​5,000 tonnes CO2e
​Exporting LPG ​ ​300 tonnes CO2e​
​Storing carbon dioxide after capture ​ N/A
Reporting removal activities Plus
Calculate your data

Each removal activity has its own calculation method. If you would like to get an estimate of how many tonnes of CO2e your activity will total, you can find the relevant calculation formula in the Climate Change (Other Removal Activities) Regulations 2009​.

Report your data

If you want to receive units in respect of removals activities that you are registered with the ETS for, you will need to submit an emissions return with data about what you have removed. This is done by submitting a Quarterly Emissions Return (QER) online via the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register (the Register), and is known as 'Emissions ​Reporting​'.

There is more information available in our Emissions reporting section, including important guidelines about record keeping.

Guidance on emissions reporting

Reporting timelines Plus

Participants who carry out removal activities may choose to submit Quarterly Emission Returns (QERs) detailing the amount of removals carried out in the last quarter or year, as applicable.

Quarterly Reporting

Where QERs are submitted, these must be completed by the participant within 20 days of the end of the quarter. The exception to this is the fourth quarter of a calendar year which may be reported any time between 1 January and 31 March. Timing for QERs can be summarised as follows:

Removal activities carried out in periodQuarterly Emissions Return must be received by the EPA
Quarter 1 (1 Jan – 31 March) Within the first 20 working days of April
Quarter 2 (1 April – 30 June) Within the first 20 working days of July
Quarter 3 (1 July – 30 Sept) ​ Within the first 20 working days of October
Quarter 4 (1 Oct – 31 Dec) Between 1 Jan and 31 March
Annual Reporting

If you choose to report all of your removal activites annually, you can do so by submitting a QER that includes the full year's removal data. This must detail all removals carried out in the calendar year and must be completed between 1 January and 31 March of the following year.

Removal activities carried out in period​Quarterly Emissions Return must be received by the EPA
1 January – 31 Decem​ber (Year 1)​ 1 January – 31 March (Year 2)​
Deadline extensions

If you are unable to submit an emissions return by the due date, you can apply to the EPA for an extension of no more than 20 working days. This can be done via the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register​ and will need to be received by the EPA in advance of the due date for the emissions return.