Climate change policies in the Transport Sector : Biofuel blends, Clean Car Import Standard

Last updated: 21 October 2021

In order to tackle climate change and to help New Zealand meet its 2050 climate neutrality target, the Government took several targeted action on the transport sector, as it is the second highest amount of emissions after agriculture in New Zealand.


Three main policies and measures have been announced:


- After consulting an independent Climate Change Commission mid-year, the Government agreed to mandate a lower emitting biofuel blend across the transport sector. The percentage of the GHG emissions reduction from transport fuel imposed will be set at the same time as the five yearly emissions budget required under the Climate Change Response Act 2020. The mandate would apply to all transport fuels, including domestic aviation fuels. Fuel suppliers will also 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.


 - 50 million NZD will also be used to help councils fully decarbonise the public transport bus fleet by 2035.

- Clean Car Import Standard: in 2022 an import standard will settle 105 grams of CO2/km taget by 2025, being phased in through annual targets that get progressively lower to give importers time to adjust. The Import Standard is expected to prevent 3 million tonnes of emissions by 2040.



The Government agreed to introduce the Clean Car Standard – a Co2 emissions standard for imported new and used light vehicles. They expect legislation to implement the Clean Car Standard will be introduced in 2021, with the policy taking effect in 2022, although any charges on suppliers who do not meet the Standard will not apply until the beginning of 2023.

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