Increasing the use of sustainable biofuels in Aotearoa New Zealand

Submissions closed: 26 July 2021, 5pm

The Government consulted 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, outlined a proposal to put in place a sustainable biofuels obligation.

About the consultation

Biofuels are fuels which 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 and 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 2008 the Government passed a law requiring fuel suppliers to sell a certain percentage of biofuels. However it was repealed before it came into effect.

The discussion document presented several proposals for a sustainable biofuels obligation, focussing on emissions intensity reduction targets, the fuels it would apply to, sustainability criteria, and reporting requirements for fuel suppliers.

Submissions closed at 5pm Monday 26 July 2021.

Consultation documents


Submissions closed on 26 July 2021 and a total of 63 submissions were received. They represented the views of a range of stakeholders including fuel importers, fuel retailers, industry and advocacy organisations, Crown Research Institutes, iwi, biofuel producers, local government and individuals.

Summary of Submissions – Increasing the use of sustainable biofuels in Aotearoa New Zealand(external link)

Personal contact details have been redacted from the submissions.

Some submissions have not been published at the request of submitters.

Last updated: 12 July 2023