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New Zealand takes its place on the global stage with its efforts to combat the effects of climate change. The Emissions Trading Scheme is at the centre of these efforts. Improvements to the Emissions Trading Scheme were announced on 31 July 2019.
Climate change is arguably one of the most pressing threats to the planet. According to the United Nations, climate change “is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment”. The Kyoto Protocol requires its members to monitor their actual greenhouse gas emissions and precise records of trades have to be kept. It has set the framework for numerous policy, legislative and environmental initiatives. New Zealand has the unique opportunity of playing its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through forestry. Forestry exports are worth around $5 billion a year and forestry directly employs approximately 20,000 people. It is a crucial part of our climate change response. With that in mind, it is imperative that New Zealand implement a sufficient, robust and effective Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). On 31 July 2019, improvements to the ETS regulations were announced to reach that goal. An Amendment Bill to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 will be introduced to Parliament later this year. Four changes in this Amendment Bill are worth noting: