Climate Negotiations Minister Tim Groser says New Zealand hopes to tie its carbon market to a counterpart envisaged in Australia, as a stepping stone to wider international trade in greenhouse-gas emissions.
At the climate conference in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday, Mr Groser announced a commitment to try to tie carbon markets together to provide liquidity, a key factor in sustained trading.
But he warned the process would be long and complicated, saying he cannot set a deadline for when a joint carbon market would be operational.
In a later interview, Mr Groser said New Zealand has had discussions with the state of a particular country about linking with Australia and New Zealand.
And he said New Zealand may link with the Emissions Trading System of Europe.