What to do about fuel efficiency

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Environment Minister Peter Garrett have called for public and industry comment on a discussion paper on sustainable transport. 

The Vehicle Fuel Efficiency paper was developed by the Australian Transport Council and the Environment Protection and Heritage Council in response to a COAG request to investigate vehicle fuel efficiency measures.

“The transport sector is the third largest and one of the fastest growing sources of carbon pollution in Australia, with more than 14 million registered vehicles on our roads,” the ministers said.

“Instead of advocating the adoption of any particular measure, the discussion paper evaluates eight potential measures to improve fuel efficiency and urges interested parties to provide their views.”

The measures include carbon emissions targets and stamp duty charges for new light vehicles, direct financial incentives for low-emission vehicles, an environmental rating scheme for heavy vehicles, and international standards and labelling requirements for non-engine components that impact on emissions.

The ministers said reforms to address fuel efficiency would be complementary to the Federal Government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme to help drivers reduce travel costs and emissions. 

“There is no silver bullet for reducing CO2 emissions from the transport sector – instead we need a structural and measured approach to this issue,” they said.

Comments close on November 7.

The discussion paper and a submission template are available at www.environment.gov.au/settlements/transport.

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