Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageCar makers pay close attention to the emissions regulations in the countries they export to.Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA/AAP

The federal government’s new Energy White Paper puts a lot of emphasis on getting more economic benefit from our energy use. But it has left out one obvious policy that could help: mandatory greenhouse emissions standards for all new vehicles.

This is a surprising omission, considering that the government’s 2013 Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper acknowledged that “vehicle emission standards have been implemented with great success in many countries”. Why not here too?

It’s doubly surprising in light of the federal government’s recent pledge to embrace energy efficiency for vehicles. At last year’s G20 Brisbane summit, it developed an Energy Efficiency Action Plan which aims to prioritise improving vehicles emissions standards in G20 countries, by introducing more stringent fuel-efficiency requirements for new vehicles.

The government is also preparing to provide details of how its proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act will impact on the existing regulations. If it is to uphold its G20 fuel-efficiency pledge, then it needs to include the introduction of mandatory fuel-efficiency or greenhouse emissions standards for all new passenger and commercial vehicles.

With the domestic automotive industry coming to an end in 2017, now is as good a chance as any.

A long time coming

Curbing vehicle emissions has been on the agenda for a long time. In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recommended regulating vehicle carbon dioxide emissions as part of its response to the Henry Tax Review. In 2010, the Labor government’s Prime Minister’s Tax Group on Energy Efficiency also called for motor vehicle emissions standards to be introduced. All other Energy Papers and related reports released from 2011 have supported the introduction of similar standards, and the 2014 Emissions Reduction Fund White Paper acknowledged the successful adoption of vehicle emission standards in the European Union and the United States.

Last month’s federal government Issues Paper on setting Australia’s post-2020 emissions target suggested that emissions-reductions policies “…could include fuel efficiency standards for light and heavy vehicles” – although it also added that the government will need to “consult with business and the community” before taking on this policy measure.

Australia lagging behind

What the government also needs to acknowledge is Australia’s poor record on vehicle fuel efficiency in comparison with many other nations. Its planned consultation with business and community should also include a warning that unless Australia introduces proper emissions standards, it risks becoming a dumping ground for high-emissions new and second-hand vehicles.

Australia is one of the remaining three largest markets and the only OECD country without an official fuel efficiency target. According to an energy scorecard for the 16 OECD nations released last year by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Australia ranked 10th overall for energy efficiency, but came last on the fuel economy of passenger vehicles and on the setting of future standards.

Australia’s poor performance in reducing vehicle carbon emissions has contributed to its current ranking as the world’s highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases. What’s more, its failure to introduce regulatory carbon dioxide emission standards has encouraged global car manufacturers to dump and sell their higher-emitting vehicles in Australia.

A dumping ground for high-emissions cars

More than 70% of light vehicles sold in the world last year were subject to mandatory emissions standards. Global car manufacturers are required to meet the regulatory emissions standards in the country of manufacture. For example, manufacturers selling new cars in the European Union must pay a penalty if the average for their fleet exceeds 130g of carbon dioxide per km.

Manufacturers will therefore be encouraged to sell their higher-emission vehicles in countries with no regulatory standards, such as Australia. This explains why multinational manufacturers tend to have higher average emissions in Australia than in Europe.

imageEmissions from cars produced by major multinational manufacturers are higher in Australia, which does not have mandatory limits.Author provided

If the federal government is serious about meeting its G20 pledge to improve vehicle energy efficiency and emissions, it needs to introduce emissions standards that will apply to all new and second-hand vehicles sold in Australia. Without these new standards, there would be very little to stop international manufacturers from sending us their least efficient, most polluting cars.

Anna Mortimore does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/could-australia-become-a-dumping-ground-for-high-emission-vehicles-38299

Writers Wanted

Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been released. But will a prisoner swap with Australia encourage more hostage-taking by Iran?

arrow_forward

Ancient Earth had a thick, toxic atmosphere like Venus – until it cooled off and became liveable

arrow_forward

Not just hot air: turning Sydney's wastewater into green gas could be a climate boon

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion