Ashburton District Council could yield $1.6 million in revenue in the next six months if it is able to sell 92,000 carbon credits while the market has made a comeback.
Chief Executive Andrew Dalziel has been approved to sell the carbon credits for a minimum price of $18.00 per unit at the Council meeting today, and would have until August to secure a sale.
Council Commercial Manager Colin Windleborn says the emissions trading market has made a recovery in the last year and if the opportunity arises, Council could sell a portion of its credits.
"In 2008, Council registered 225 hectares of its forestry estate with the Emissions Trading Scheme. This has now dropped to 36 hectares. Since the price of carbon dropped significantly in 2010 and 2011, we've held onto the credits until markets hopefully improved. With a recovery in the market, we are now at a point where we could sell some of the credits for a good return."
Council originally had 15 per cent of its forestry registered in the Emissions Trading Scheme, and along with its remaining forests, they have amassed 102,968 New Zealand Units (one tonne of carbon dioxide equals one New Zealand Unit).
Council's carbon credits currently stored in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Register do not yield any dividends.