General Legislation Updates

New Zealand plans HFC phase-down

In October 2016, New Zealand, Australia and almost 200 other countries adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs. Australia started reducing HFC import quotas at the beginning of 2018, and now New Zealand is looking at 2020 to begin the same process.

The New Zealand cabinet recently agreed to ratify the amendment. Between now and the end of the year, parliament will formally consider the treaty, and regulations to set up a permitting system to control the phase-down of HFCs will be developed.

Subject to parliamentary processes, New Zealand will begin phasing down HFCs from January 1, 2020 from a baseline (total upper limit of consumption) of 1,338 kilotonnes CO2e – the average consumption of HFCs from 2010–2015.

The plan is to offer grandfathered permits for current/past importers of HFCs (comprising up to 80 per cent of the national total) and special permits that businesses can apply for (up to 20 per cent of the national total).

A national interest analysis for the Kigali Amendment has been produced, outlining the benefits and costs to New Zealand of ratifying the Amendment, and more information on how it will be implemented. This document has been presented to parliament and will be considered by a select committee alongside the Amendment.

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