top of page
  • CarbonCrop Team

CarbonCurious: ETS Eligibility Criteria

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Are you curious about carbon credits? Not sure where to start with the ETS? Our team is here to help with our CarbonCurious webinar series.

Carbon credits can be confusing. When you combine that with government regulation, it can be a lot to get your head around. In this post we dive into forest eligibility criteria for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Now, you might be wondering what is the ETS? Putting it simply, the ETS is a program put in place by the New Zealand government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And forests play a huge role in helping to achieve this goal.

“Our aim is to demystify the ETS and Carbon Credits” - Rowan Sprague, CarbonCrop

So, if you own a forest and are looking to register for the ETS, there are some key things you need to know. Most importantly we'll share the requirements your forest must meet to be eligible and some key things to watch out for.

So, what makes a forest eligible for the NZ ETS?

There are a few key elements which make your forest eligible for carbon credits under the ETS, this includes:

  • Minimum of 1 hectare in size

  • Average forest width of 30m

  • Established after 1989

  • Average canopy cover of 30%

  • Trees must be at least 5m tall

  • Comprised of eligible forest species

What forest species are eligible under the ETS?

5 types of forest eligible for the ETS

  • Native Trees (e.g. Manuka)

  • Pinus Radiata

  • Douglas Fir

  • Exotic Softwoods (e.g. Cyprus)

  • Exotic Hardwoods (e.g. Oak Trees)

Something important to note is the carbon sequestration potential of tree species. This is something that changes depending on the species, and can impact on the carbon credits you'll earn. It may also affect your decision on what carbon accounting method you decide to use when entering your forest.

Ultimately, the choice of tree species to plant will depend on a range of factors, including the your goals, the site conditions, and the suitability of species in your existing forest. The important thing is that the forest meets the eligibility criteria and is contributing to the removal of carbon from the atmosphere in New Zealand.

How CarbonCrop can help you

CarbonCrop are native specialists, with a focus on helping more complex forests get registered for carbon credits. Out of all forests CarbonCrop has submitted into the NZ ETS, over 80% have been native forests.

We can provide a free assessment for your land. If you've got eligible forest and want to continue working with us, we'll take care of all of the admin and ongoing compliance (e.g. emissions returns) for you so you can focus on what's important.


To find out what you've got and what it's worth, apply for a free Land Assessment today.


bottom of page