Consultation on the Sustainable Biofuels Obligation

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Submissions closed: 01 July 2022, 5pm

The Government is consulting on a proposal to increase the use of sustainable liquid biofuels in New Zealand to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport. The discussion document, produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Transport, outlines the development of regulations to enact the Sustainable Biofuels Obligation. We want to hear what you think about the regulations.

About the consultation

Biofuels are fuels that are made from renewable biomass such as plants. As plants that a biofuel is made from grow, they absorb GHG emissions. When the biofuel is combusted, roughly the same amount of GHG emissions is released.

Liquid biofuels are a renewable, low-emissions fuel that can help reduce GHG emissions from transport. They are not as dependent on new fuel infrastructure or new vehicles as other ways of reducing GHG emissions (for example, electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles).

Currently, the use of biofuels in New Zealand is very low and there is limited domestic production.

In July 2021, consultation occurred on the increasing the use of sustainable biofuels in Aotearoa New Zealand. In October 2021, Cabinet agreed to the final policy design of the Sustainable Biofuels Mandate, now referred to as the Sustainable Biofuels Obligation. More information can be found here:

Increasing the use of sustainable biofuels in Aotearoa New Zealand

The discussion document looks at the development of the regulations that will support the enactment of the Sustainable Biofuels Obligation.

Calculating the Obligation

  • The formula used in the Obligation
  • Determining the emissions intensity of biofuels
  • Determining the emissions intensity of fossil fuels
  • The process and verification of GHG emissions intensity factors.

The sustainability criteria

  • Why are sustainability criteria needed?
  • International sustainability certification schemes will be used to certify the sustainability of biofuels
  • Land use change caused by biofuels production
  • Biofuels and food security
  • Use of waste and classification of feedstocks.

Other considerations 

  • Interaction with the Fuel Industry Act and regulations
  • Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations review
  • Labelling at the pump: Emissions reductions

After the Ministry of Business and Innovation and the Ministry of Transport have considered all of the submissions, Cabinet will then consider proposals on regulatory options to support the introduction of the Sustainable Biofuels Obligation.

Submissions close 5pm Friday 1 July 2022.

If you have any questions please contact energymarkets@mbie.govt.nz.

Consultation documents

Last updated: 28 June 2022