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FCAI Disappointed With Research Report on Light Vehicle Emissions Standards

The FCAI notes today’s release of the Climate Change Authority’s research report, Light vehicle emissions standards for Australia.

Responding to the report, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said it is disappointing that the Climate Change Authority has not given appropriate recognition to the new car industry’s strong track record in delivering continual improvements in CO2 emissions.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

“Last month’s National Transport Commission information paper on Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Australian Vehicles shows that, on average, new motor vehicles in Australia have recorded 2.4 per cent year-on-year CO2 reductions over the last decade,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“This is significantly greater than the reductions seen in most other sectors of the economy.

“In addition, the road transport sector accounts for 8 per cent of all CO2 emissions in Australia, and of that 8 per cent, new motor vehicles account for just one sixteenth of the emissions, or around half of one per cent of total CO2 emissions.”

Mr Weber also highlighted that the report fails to take into account the need for complementary market fuel quality standards (i.e. 95RON 10ppm sulphur which is not currently available in Australia) to deliver CO2 targets similar to the EU.

“The Climate Change Authority notes that their report demonstrates that mandatory standards are a cost-effective way to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and light vehicle fuel use. But without having world-quality fuel available in the market place, mandatory CO2 targets would impose cost on the community without delivering the expected benefits. 

“Similarly, the Climate Change Authority doesn’t appear to give appropriate recognition to the fact that consumer preference in Australia contributes heavily to motor vehicle emission levels.

“The reality is that Australians have the capacity to buy the vehicles the report alludes to; however, they elect not to. New car sales data shows that Australian consumers have a greater preference for heavier vehicles with larger and more powerful engines than consumers in the United Kingdom. They also have a preference for a lower proportion of diesel powered engines and a higher proportion of automatic transmissions—all of which contribute to higher emissions. Other governments around the world also provide significant incentives for the purchase of low-emission vehicles.”

This is further demonstrated in the National Transport Commission’s information paper on Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Australian Vehicles.

Mr Weber said the FCAI is disappointed that the Climate Change Authority did not contact the automotive industry to provide a briefing on the detail of the report prior to its release, to enable a comparison against the recent findings of the National Transport Commission and the FCAI’s own analysis.

“Any consideration to reduce transport CO2 emissions needs to be comprehensive. It needs to consider how to reduce traffic congestion, the choice of transport mode, and a taxation system that is also geared to achieve these outcomes. The FCAI would be cautious about relying on any one policy mechanism to deliver further reductions,” Mr Weber said. 

For more information, contact:
Sheena Ireland, Communications Manager
02 6229 8221 / 0458 038 555
Sheena.ireland@fcai.com.au