Nelson City Council carbon credit scheme debate

Wednesday 24 Nov 2021

 
The Nelson City Council is being advised against signing up to a carbon credit forestry scheme, but an industry veteran says there is much to gain and little to lose.

A report on the potential benefit of registering indigenous forests for carbon credits was brought before the council on Wednesday. No decision was made on the report, as the meeting was adjourned early before it could be discussed.

However, during the public forum of the meeting, Carbon Farm director Dr Murray McClintock spoke in support of developing council forestry for carbon credits. The possibility of utilising indigenous forests to earn carbon credits was raised in council’s 2020/2021 Annual Plan, with an analysis of the situation commissioned from Carbon Forest Services in April.

Under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), indigenous forests that had not been forested before 1989, and not forested at least four years prior to establishment, could qualify for registration and earn carbon credits.

While two areas were identified as having potential for ETS credits in the report, the financial returns were expected to be minimal compared to the cost of assessment. These included about 2220 hectares of grassland and scrubland in the Dun Mountain "mineral belt” that could be established in forest, and 27 ha of existing indigenous forest.

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