The Future is Equal

Oxfam reacts to NZ Government’s biofuel obligation

The Government’s biofuel obligation risks doing more harm than good for the climate and global hunger, said Nick Henry, Climate Justice Lead at Oxfam Aotearoa: 

“We welcome the decision to rule out the use of palm and soy oil and to limit the use of food and feed to produce biofuel. But this does not go far enough. As our recent briefing paper details, all crop-based biofuels contribute to the increasing levels of hunger across the world. 

“Under a similar system in the EU, Europe is burning 17,000 tonnes of rapeseed and sunflower oil per day – the equivalent of 19 million 1L bottles every day – that could be used for food. What’s more, if the Government move ahead with its mandate, it will contribute to land use changes around the world which are extremely harmful to local communities and to the climate. 

“Minister Woods is clearly committed to managing the impacts of transport on the environment. We acknowledge changes have been made to improve the biofuel obligation, but it is crucial Minister Woods goes further to reduce the serious harm a biofuels obligation can have on people and planet. The Government must rule out using any food crops and have strict standards to not only protect the environment, but also human rights. 

“We look forward to working with the Government to inform and improve its approach to sustainable transport.” 



Oxfam Aotearoa briefing paper on biofuels:  

According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment, 18 percent of the world’s vegetable oil production goes to biodiesel. Nearly all of this is fit for human consumption. In recent years, Europe put 58 percent of all rapeseed and 9 percent of all sunflower oil consumed in the region into its cars and trucks. See: