A Timeline of the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme

Published: 2016

Author: Catherine Leining

Emissions trading can be a powerful tool for helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An ETS transforms a regulatory limit on emissions into an emissions price set by the marketplace, creating economic incentives for producers, consumers and investors to choose lower-emission alternatives.

The interactive timeline below tracks the evolution of the ground-breaking New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) from 2005 to 2015. Timeline entries include links to key documents, which provide a way to navigate through the government’s public archive on the NZ ETS. A 3D button enables the user to zip down the NZ ETS Superhighway in three lanes: international climate policy development, NZ ETS policy development and NZ ETS legislation and implementation. A summary of key milestones is available here.

We are currently attempting to insert the timeline. In the meantime, please go here to play with this amazing resource. 

Move the grey rectangle at the bottom of the screen to travel through time. Click on any box to learn more.

This timeline explores how the system's scope and ambition have evolved over time alongside changes to the national and international context. You can follow links to key documents associated with each milestone along the way. This timeline is an information resource for New Zealand policy makers, NZ ETS participants, researchers, and ETS practitioners from other countries who wish to learn from New Zealand’s experience. The timeline focuses on the history of the government policy-making process, rather than the experience of market participants. Comments and additions are welcome.

This timeline was developed by Catherine Leining as part of the programme "Shaping New Zealand's Low-Emission Future."

Funding support from the Aotearoa Foundation and development assistance from Scott White are gratefully acknowledged. Satellite photos are courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

Note on date conventions: When the specific date of an event is not known, the event has been assigned to the last day of the appropriate month by default. The first line of each entry specifies what date information is available.


Aotearoa Foundation