Synthetic greenhouse gases included in the NZ ETS

The synthetic greenhouse gases that are included in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Why they are included in the NZ ETS and what are they used for

Synthetic greenhouse gases have very high global warming potentials. They do not occur naturally in nature. They are released into the atmosphere when products containing them are used, serviced or disposed of.

HFCs are used in the refrigeration and air-conditioning, aerosol, fire protection and foam-blowing industries. PFCs are produced by refrigeration manufacturing and aluminium smelting. SF6 is used in gas-insulated switchgear and circuit breaker equipment and in scientific applications.

Information on alternatives to synthetic greenhouse gases and best-practice handling procedures are readily available through associations such as IRHACE New Zealand and AIRAH.

Obligations for importers, manufacturers and removers of synthetic greenhouse gases

Those who import hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) in bulk are required to be registered with the NZ ETS.

The obligations for people who import HFCs, PFCs or SF6 in bulk are set out in the Climate Change (Stationary Energy and Industrial Processes) Regulations 2009.

Those who use sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) above the prescribed threshold when operating electrical equipment are also required to be registered with the NZ ETS. A levy applies to synthetic greenhouse gases contained in goods.

The Climate Change (Other Removal Activities) Regulations 2009 prescribes the ability for exporters of HFC and PFC to earn NZUs.

The Climate Change (General Exemptions) Order 2009 sets out exemptions from the levy and the NZ ETS.