Increasing the use of sustainable biofuels in Aotearoa New Zealand

Submissions closed: 26 July 2021, 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 a proposal to put in place a sustainable biofuels mandate. We want to hear what you think about the proposal.

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 However it was repealed before it came into effect.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 presents a proposal for a sustainable biofuels mandate:

  • The proposed mandate requires fuel suppliers to reduce the GHG emissions from transport fuels by a defined percentage each year. In the future, these percentages will be set at the same time as the five-yearly emissions budgets required under the Climate Change Response Act 2020.
  • The proposed mandate applies to all transport fuels, including domestic aviation fuel.
  • All biofuels must meet sustainability criteria to certify that they do not impact on food production or indigenous biodiversity.
  • Fuel suppliers will have to prepare annual reports to demonstrate compliance. There will be penalties for non-compliance, although there is some flexibility for fuel suppliers, including the ability to trade emissions reductions with each other.

After MOT and MBIE have considered all of the submissions, Cabinet will then consider a final proposal.

Submissions close 5pm Monday 26 July 2021.

If you have any questions please contact

Consultation documents


Submissions closed on 26 July 2021 and a total of 63 submissions were received. They represent 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: 28 September 2022