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The Emissions Trading Register

The Environmental Protection Authority operates the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register (the Register), which is New Zealand’s national registry for emission units. The  Register acts like a bank, but it holds emission units instead of money. Anyone wanting to own or trade emissions units in New Zealand must have an account in the Register. It holds all the emission units in New Zealand, including those owned by the Crown.

Emission unit trading

While the New Zealand Unit (NZU) is the primary currency of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), there are various emission unit types in the  Register. Up until 2015, this included units associated with offshore initiatives, known as ‘Kyoto units’ which were created under the Kyoto Protocol. Since 2015, these international units have not been permitted to be used for compliance purposes in the ETS.

The Register is where all emission unit transactions take place. Businesses in the Scheme may surrender, earn or be allocated emission units. Trading of emission units also takes place in the Register.

The Register enables international trading. It connects to other official registries via the International Transaction Log (ITL) run by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The ITL reconciles international trading on a daily basis to ensure that the same unit is not being used in multiple registries.

As with a share registry, the Register does not record information about the price or financial value of emission unit trades, nor does it provide a mechanism for exchanging cash for units traded.

Accounts in the Register

An individual or business must have an account in the Register if they:

  • have an obligation to report and surrender emission units

  • earn or are allocated emission units

  • want to trade emission units

​A person must be a registered user of the Register before they may open an account. To become a user, follow these steps:

  • Create a RealMe® account, or use your existing RealMe details. RealMe is a government service that lets you easily and securely prove your identity online

  • Go to the NZETR, log in using your RealMe details and follow the prompts to register as a user

For mMore information about becoming a user, setting up an account and managing it, see these guides:

Account Security

Emission Units held in the Register are a commodity that need to be protected in a similiar manner to money in a bank account.

As a user of the Register, the RealMe® username and password you use to login are for your personal use only. For security purposes, we recommend that you use a different password than passwords you use for other sites or services. 

The EPA strives to provide as much protection as possible by regularly reviewing and updating the security and technology that supports the Register. For more detailed information on the security of the Register, please see the Security page on the Register​.