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Fed Govt prefers voluntary fuel efficiency targets to mandatory CO2 emission standards for motor vehicles

Posted by gmarkets on 18 September, 2007

Federal Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, responding to written questions by Labor MP John Murphy, said in the Federal House of Representatives on 11 September 2007 that the government had not set carbon dioxide emission standards for motor vehicles, whether imported to Australia or made locally, but relied on a voluntary national average fuel consumption target.

Fuel efficiency preferred to CO2 emissions standards: “The United States and China have fuel efficiency standards for new passenger and light commercial vehicles, not carbon dioxide emission standards,” Turnbull said. “The European Union is currently considering the introduction of standards for average carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger and light commercial vehicles. None of these countries have carbon dioxide emission standards for medium and heavy trucks.”

Target 6.8L/100km by 2010: Turnbull continued: “The Government has not set carbon dioxide emission standards for motor vehicles, whether imported to Australia or made locally. A voluntary national average fuel consumption target was negotiated in 2003 between the Government and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). The target for new petrol passenger cars is 6.8L/100km by 2010. This was estimated to represent an 18 per cent improvement in the fuel consumption of new vehicles between 2002 and 2010.”

Impacts on auto industry to be considered: “In early 2006 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) requested the Australian Transport Council (ATC) and the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) to jointly report by the end of 2006 on opportunities to increase the uptake of more fuel efficient passenger and freight vehicles in Australia through reform of regulations and new incentives and programmes,” Turnbull said. “A report has been completed and was considered by COAG on 13 April 2007. COAG has requested that EPHC and ATC develop jointly a package of measures designed to move the fuel efficiency and emissions performance of the Australian fleet towards international best practice. The setting of carbon dioxide emission standards for motor vehicles has been raised as a potential measure but the technical feasibility and impacts on the automotive industry would first need to be investigated before any decision could be made.”

Exports are importers worry: “The standards applying to motor vehicles exported from Australia would be a matter for the importing country,” Turnbull concluded.

Reference: John Murphy, Member for Lowe, Australian Labor Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth; Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Member for Wentworth, Liberal Party of Australia, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 11 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 11/9/2007

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