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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2017) 61(4): 33–36
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Is the ETS worth the carbon it is written on for small-scale forest owners?

Robert Hughes *,1 and Paul Molloy 2

1 Principal, Hughes Consulting Limited. Corresponding author: rhughes@
2 Managing Director, Southern Forests NZ Limited.
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: The major suppliers of the increase in post-1989 plantation forests are small-scale forest owners. Despite this, small-scale forest owners face disproportionally high costs from the way that the emissions trading scheme has been implemented. These high costs are systemic and include cost of participation, preparation of returns, and poor systems and processes used by government agencies that impose the cost of errors and inefficiency on participants. The result is participation in the scheme adds more risk to an already high-risk investment. We conclude that the way that the scheme is implemented disincentivises investment in smallscale forestry.
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