NZ Carbon Pricing- Lessons for Australian Business

New Zealand has been implementing an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) since 2008 and it would be sensible to look across the ditch to see what can be learnt from their experience.

To date, the NZ ETS only applies to forestry, energy generation and fossil fuels but already impacts have been felt in the pricing of electricity and petrol. Further significant price increases are expected with the inclusion of industrial waste in 2013 and agriculture in 2015.

Carbon is actively being traded in New Zealand. The price of carbon has been capped until 31 December 2012 at $25 per NZU (NZ Unit of carbon – effectively the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide). NZ carbon reached a post Christmas high of NZ $7.65 on February 3rd 2012.

In Australia, the country’s 500 biggest polluters will be required to pay for their carbon pollution from 1 July 2012 onwards. The Federal Government has shortlisted 800 businesses from which it will draw its list of 500. There is still much confusion and a lack of understanding of the impact that will be felt by not just the unlucky 500 businesses, but by the wider economy as the effects ripple through the supply chain.

Carbon tax and carbon accounting are without doubt going to become areas where experts can truly add value to your business. The legislation and deadlines are constantly being amended and altered. Don’t put your business at risk by not staying abreast of developments.

Only deal with reputable intermediaries if buying or selling carbon credits. As with many new industries, there are opportunists that will exploit opportunity to make a quick dollar. Make sure you deal with experts.

Your first port of call should be Munro Accountants, as we make it our business to look after your business in this emerging area. We can refer you to carbon accounting and audit specialists, point you in the right direction for purchasing carbon credits or recommend an organisation to give you a green audit and third party green certification.

Your carbon commitments will increasingly influence your business investment decisions. Make sure you understand the carbon implications of decisions you are making now. Your Munro contact can assist in identifying opportunities and implications.

© Peter Morgan 2012

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