The Ministry of Transport initiated a project in April 2019 to help inform the Government’s strategic approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road freight in New Zealand. The project looks specifically at the role alternative green fuels – electricity, green hydrogen and biofuels – could play in reducing GHG emissions. This work fits within a wider programme of work across the Ministry to reduce GHG emissions from the transport sector.

The project is focused on heavy trucks involved in road freight because they account for nearly one quarter of all road transport GHG emissions. Road freight is vital to New Zealand’s economy and is predicted to grow substantially over the next 30 years. Reducing GHG emissions from road freight, and long-haul road freight in particular, is one of the most challenging areas for transport to decarbonise.

The Ministry has produced two papers as part of this project. Both are designed to stimulate discussion and promote engagement. Neither paper reflects Government policy.

Green Freight Working Paper

We've developed a working paper Green Freight 2020 [PDF, 2.7 MB] to provide the Government with a range of options to increase the uptake of alternative green fuels in the road freight sector. Options have been identified that could be implemented over the next 15 years. This timeframe has been deliberately chosen to align with the Climate Change Commission’s advice to government on the first three carbon budgets 2022–2035.

The working paper draws heavily on the insights gained from engaging with stakeholders in the freight industry, energy sectors, academia and other government agencies on the Green Freight Background paper. The options presented reflect our best assessment of what interventions could have the greatest impact on GHG emissions from road freight over the next 15 years.

The Ministry invites your views on how the options presented in this paper can assist with transitioning New Zealand’s truck fleet to alternative green fuels. If you have any additional thoughts and ideas you would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you. Please email

Green Freight Background Paper

We released The Green Freight Background Paper [PDF, 1.1 MB] in September 2019. The paper outlines the challenges and opportunities of transitioning road freight to alternative green fuels. The paper reflects thinking and research from domestic and international literature, and situates this in the context of the road freight industry in New Zealand.

The paper was developed to prompt discussion and engagement around the specific barriers to transitioning New Zealand’s heavy truck fleet to using alternative green fuels. It was also an opportunity to discuss the advantages New Zealand has to capitalise on the opportunities alternative green fuels might provide for New Zealand. We felt it was important to develop this paper first to better understand the New Zealand context, before identifying a way forward for industry and government.