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2009 July 13

New Zealand Greens want biofuel sustainability criteria

New Zealand’s Green Party wants to reintroduce biofuel sustainability criteria in order to keep promotional grants away from companies that cut down rain forests in order to produce biofuels.

Previous sustainability requirements were scrapped when the government repealed a law that had required oil companies to mix biofuels into traditional fuel blends, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reports.

New Zealand currently provides grants of up to NZ$ 0.425 (US$ 0.276) per litre for domestically produced biodiesel without requiring any minimum sustainability criteria be met.

A new bill introduced by the Green Party calls for the creation of principles for a new set of sustainability criteria to be in place by February 2010.

The Green Party also wants to ban biofuels that don’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least one third or which come from land otherwise used to grow food or rich in biodiversity, such as tropical rainforests.