Vehicle emissions consultation continues

Media Release

PF040/2016

04 April 2016

Joint release with:

Greg Hunt

Minister for the Environment

The Australian Government has sought further industry views on tackling vehicle emissions during a stakeholder engagement session at today's meeting of the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions in Canberra.

Today's session followed the forum held in December last year, which helped inform the development of a discussion paper released in February 2016.

Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government Paul Fletcher said the session was an opportunity to further explore some of the issues raised in the Government's vehicle emissions discussion paper, on which public comment is currently being sought.

“Today was an excellent opportunity to discuss those critical issues, which include topics such as carbon dioxide and particulate emissions, innovation, alternative fuels and electric vehicles,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Although Australia accounts for less than two per cent of the global new vehicle market, it is becoming increasingly important that we harmonise our approaches to vehicle emissions with those in place in other countries.

“Failure to do so could mean that Australia is increasingly an outsider in international terms, with implications for both the costs and quality of cars coming to Australia.

“Mandatory fuel efficiency or CO2 emissions standards for light vehicles are in place in approximately 80 per cent of the global light vehicle market, including the United States, the European Union, Canada, Japan, China and India.”

Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said the Ministerial Forum has ensured a coordinated approach to vehicle emissions across government, with extensive stakeholder engagement to ensure the views and expertise of industry are taken into account.

“Feedback from this latest round of consultation will help inform a report to the Government on possible policy options, due to be delivered in June 2016.

“The Government is committed to careful, prudent consideration of useful action on vehicle emissions, with any proposed regulatory measures to undergo a comprehensive impact analysis that will be released for public comment prior to any final decision.

“The work being done by the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions recognises that action on vehicle emissions will help to deliver on the Government's target to increase energy productivity by 40 per cent by 2030, as set out in the National Energy Productivity Plan.”

Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said reducing transport emissions has a major role to play in Australia meeting its greenhouse gas reduction commitments.

“The Government has set a challenging emissions reduction target that will see emissions fall by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030,” Mr Hunt said.

“In announcing its 2030 emissions reduction target, the Government committed to consult on and implement initiatives that can deliver low cost emissions reductions and other co-benefits, including measures to improve the fuel efficiency of cars and other light vehicles.

“The Government also continues to consider what measures could complement fuel efficiency standards, including tax incentives and rebates, fleet purchasing, improved consumer education, alternative fuels and electric vehicles, and the role the Government can play in fostering that type of innovation.”

The Ministerial Forum is supported by an Interdepartmental Working Group, which will report by 31 March 2017 on a draft implementation plan for new measures.

Public comment on the Vehicle Emissions Discussion Paper closes on 8 April 2016 and can be found at https://infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/forum/index.aspx.